Reading: Psychological distress among patients with organophosphorus or paraquat poisoning

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Psychological distress among patients with organophosphorus or paraquat poisoning

Author:

SS Jayasinghe

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna and South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Recognition of psychological distress following intentional self poisoning is important. The most widely used screening test for psychological distress is the Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). It is available in versions as short as 12 items (GHQ-12) and as long as 60 (GHQ-60).

Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of psychological distress among patients with self poisoning with organophosphorus (OP) or paraquat (PQ) pesticides admitted to General Hospital, Matara andTeaching Hospital, Galle.

Method: A case-control study was conducted with matched controls. A self-administered validated Sinhala translation of the 12-item Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used as a general screening test to identify psychological distress.Ascore >15 indicates evidence of psychological distress and a score >20 is suggestive of severe psychological problems and distress.Ascore >15 is also considered as positive GHQ-12.

Results: GHQ-12 was administered to 143 (99 OP, 44 PQ) patients and 70 controls. Mean (SD) ages of the test and the control group were 34 (14) and 33 (12), respectively. The prevalence of psychological distress among cases and controls were 51% (73/143) and 10% (7/70), respectively. The median (inter-quartile range) of GHQ-

Conclusions: 12 score among cases and controls were 16 (11 – 23) and 8 (5 – 11) respectively (P< 0.001). This study indicates the high prevalence of psychological distress among patients with self poisoning with OP or PQ and emphasizes the need of assessment, support and if required treatment in needy cases.

Key words: Organophosphorus compounds; paraquat; suicide

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v16i2.3745

GMJ 2011; 16(2): 8-12

How to Cite: Jayasinghe, S., (2011). Psychological distress among patients with organophosphorus or paraquat poisoning. Galle Medical Journal. 16(2), pp.8–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v16i2.3745
Published on 30 Oct 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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