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עמוד בית
Fri, 31.05.24

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September 2018
Alan Apter MD and Tami Steinberg MD
March 2017
Irina Briskman MD, Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Uri Berger MA, Yehuda Baruch MD MHA, Gali Bar MA, Jack Asherov MD, Artur Lvovski MD, Alan Apter MD and Yoram Barak MD MHA

Background: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) increases the danger of future suicide death and the risk increases with age. Self-harm in older adults is often associated with greater suicidal intent and lethality. 

Objectives: To investigate clinical and psychosocial variables of older patients (age ≥ 65 years) assessed due to DSH, compared with younger adults.

Methods: Patients admitted to the Emergency Department following DSH during an 8 year period were included.

Results: Of 1149 participants, 187 (16.6%) were older adults (age ≥ 65) and 962 (83.4%) were younger adults (< 65). The older adults reported DSH closer to mid-day (P < 0.01) and suffered more frequently from adjustment disorder and depression. Personality disorders and schizophrenia were less commonly diagnosed (P < 0.001). Prescription medication (sedatives and hypnotics) were a more frequent means (88% vs. 71%) of DSH among older patients. Younger patients with DSH used over-the-counter medications (21.9% vs. 6.4%) three times more than did the older patients (P < 0.01). Past DSH was significantly more frequent in younger adults. Following DSH the older patients were frequently admitted for further general hospitalization (P < 0.001). 

Conclusions: Older adults with DSH are a unique group with different clinical characteristics. There is a need for targeted prevention strategies and education of caregivers regarding DSH in older adults.

 

September 2014
Ilana Farbstein MD, Ivonne Mansbach-Kleinfeld MD, Judith G. Auerbach PhD, Alexander M. Ponizovsky MD PhD and Alan Apter MD

Background: The prevalence of ADHD is controversial, with many feeling that this disorder is over- or under-diagnosed.

Objectives: To study the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its association with socio-demographic characteristics, comorbid mental disorders, medical services, and methylphenidate use in the Israeli adolescent population.

Methods: The Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents was conducted in a representative national sample of 14–17 year olds and their mothers. The Development and Well-Being Assessment was administered to identify DSM-IV diagnoses of ADHD and comorbid mental and learning disorders, and the results were verified by senior child psychiatrists. Respondents were also asked about their use of medical services and psychotropic drug intake in the past 12 months.

Results: Three percent of the adolescents met the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. ADHD was significantly associated with gender (higher prevalence in boys than girls), ethnicity (higher prevalence in Jews than Arabs/Druze), referral to a medical professional, and maternal help-seeking for the emotional or behavioral problems of the adolescent. Medication was prescribed to 2.9% of adolescents: 34.6% with a diagnosis of ADHD had not been prescribed methylphenidate in the past year, and 34.6% of the medicated subjects did not have a diagnosis of ADHD. None of the Arab/Druze adolescents was receiving stimulants compared to 3.7% of the Jewish adolescents.

Conclusions: Despite advances in public awareness of mental disorders in youth, a substantial proportion of older Israeli adolescents, especially from minority groups, are under-diagnosed or untreated. At the same time, many, especially from the Jewish majority, are over-diagnosed and potentially over-treated. Ethnic disparities in rates of mental health care highlight the urgent need to identify and overcome barriers to the recognition and treatment of these conditions.

February 2013
T. Steinberg, I. Tamir, S. Zimmerman-Brenner, M. Friling and A. Apter
 Background:  Tic disorders are common causes of morbidity in Israel but their prevalence in this country needs further study.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of mental disorders in Israeli youth including tic disorders, as part of the Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA).

Methods: The ISMEHA was conducted in a representative sample of 957 adolescents aged 14–17 and their mothers during 2004–2005. We interviewed the adolescents and their mothers in their homes and collected demographic information about the use of services. We also administered a psychiatric interview, the Development and Well-Being Assessment inventory (DAWBA), which included a question on tic disorder. The prevalence of tic disorders was calculated based on the adolescents’ and maternal reports. The relationships among demographic data, comorbidity rates, help-seeking behaviors and tic disorder are presented.

Results: The prevalence of tics was 1.3% according to maternal reports and 4.4% according to adolescents’ reports. The prevalence correlated with externalizing disorders and learning disabilities A higher prevalence of tics was found in the Arab population compared with Jewish adolescents

Conclusions: The prevalence of tic disorders in Israel, as measured by a direct question in this epidemiological study, and associated comorbidities concurs with previous reports. The complexities of prevalence estimations, comorbidities, demographic correlates, and help-seeking behaviors are discussed.

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