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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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June 2011
G. Katz, R. Durst, E. Shufman, R. Bar-Hamburger and L. Grunhaus

Background: Some specialists and policy makers advocate progression of the mental health reform in Israel by transferring beds from psychiatric to general hospitals.

Objectives: To compare the demographic, diagnostic and psychopathological profiles of psychiatric inpatients hospitalized in psychiatric and general hospitals, as well as their patterns of drug abuse and to estimate the preparedness of general hospitals for the possible expansion of their psychiatric services.

Methods: Between 2002 and 2006 a total of 250 patients were consecutively admitted to the Jerusalem Mental Health Center-Kfar Shaul Hospital and 220 to the psychiatric department of Sheba Medical Center, a general hospital in central Israel; the patients’ ages ranged from 18 to 65. The two groups were compared for demographic features, psychiatric diagnoses and severity of psychopathology (utilizing PANSS, HAD-21, YMRS rating scales). Drug abuse was diagnosed by urine analyses and self-report.

Results: The patients in the psychiatric hospital were significantly younger, predominantly male, and more dependent on social security payments. In the general hospital, diagnoses of affective and anxiety disorders prevailed, while in the psychiatric hospital schizophrenic and other psychotic patients constituted the majority. The patients in the general hospital were decidedly more depressed; in the psychiatric hospital, notably higher rates of manic symptoms as well as positive, negative and general schizophrenic symptoms were reported. For the most abused substances (opiates, cannabis and methamphetamines) the rates in the psychiatric hospital were significantly higher.

Conclusions: The differences between the two groups of inpatients were very pronounced, and therefore, the transferring of psychiatric beds to general hospitals could not be done without serious and profound organizational, educational and financial changes in the psychiatric services of general hospitals. Since each of the two inpatient systems has particular specializations and experience with the different subgroups of patients, they could coexist for a long time.
 

November 2008
Eran Kozer, MD, Rachel Bar-Hamburger, MD, Noa Y. Rosenfeld, MD, Irena Zdanovitch, MD, Mordechai Bulkowstein, MD and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD.

Background: Clinicians’ impression of adolescents' alcohol or drug involvement may underestimate substance-related pathology.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics of adolescents presenting to the pediatric emergency department due to substance abuse and to determine whether physicians can reliably identify these patients.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of all patients aged 12–18 years presenting to a pediatric emergency department between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006 for whom a urine drug screen or ethanol blood levels was ordered. According to departmental protocol urine drug screen and ethanol levels are taken for specific indications. Based on the history and clinical findings the pediatrician in the ED[1] assessed on a 5-point likelihood scale the possibility that the patients’ symptoms were related to substance abuse.

Results: Of the 139 patients in the study group 40 (30%) tested positive for ethanol or drugs of abuse. The median age was 16. Compared with patients who tested negative, there were more patients with decreased level of consciousness among patients who tested positive for ethanol or drugs (5% vs. 33% respectively, P < 0.001). The median physician estimate for the likelihood of substance abuse was 5 in patients who tested positive and 2 in patients who tested negative (P < 0.001). The likelihood of a positive drug/ethanol test was not affected by age or gender.
Conclusions: Since the likelihood of substance abuse is higher in patients presenting with a low level of consciousness, physicians may accurately assess the likelihood of substance abuse in these patients





[1] ED = emergency department

October 2008
G. Katz, R. Durst, E. Shufman, R. Bar-Hamburger and L. Grunhaus

Background: In recent years, mother to child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in the west has decreased markedly due to the advent of antiretroviral drugs given during pregnancy, cessation of lactation and careful monitoring of viral load in the perinatal period.

Objective:
To assess mother to child transmission of HIV[1] among Ethiopian immigrants and non-Ethiopians in the Jerusalem area.

Methods:
We conducted a prospective analysis of all deliveries of HIV-positive women in the Jerusalem district over a 10 year period.

Results:
Between 1996 and 2006, 35 HIV+ women gave birth to 45 infants. Thirty-one (88%) of these women were of Ethiopian origin and gave birth to 39 infants. Of the 35 HIV+ women, 30 were aware of being HIV positive. They gave birth to 40 infants. Another 5 women (14%) were not aware of being HIV+ during delivery. They gave birth to five infants. Of the group of known HIV+ women, 26 (87%) were Ethiopian immigrants who delivered 34 infants and 4 were non-Ethiopians who delivered 6 infants. In the group of five women not aware of being HIV+, all were Ethiopians. Breast-feeding data were available for 32 of the 35 women. Only 2 women (6.2%) breast-fed their babies. Neither was aware of being HIV+. In the Ethiopian immigrant group (both known and unknown HIV status), 11 deliveries (28%) were vaginal, 18 (46%) were elective cesarean section and 10 (26%) were delivered by emergency cesarean section. Of the 26 known HIV+ Ethiopian women, 3 (12%) refused to take antiretroviral treatment despite repeated counseling. In the non-Ethiopian group, all deliveries were elective cesarean sections. Mother to child transmission of HIV occurred in 4 of the total 45 deliveries (8.8%). Of the 4 transmission cases, 2 occurred among 40 deliveries of known HIV+ women (5%), and 2 occurred among the 5 deliveries of women not aware of being HIV+ (40%, P = 0.05). In the group of Ethiopian women only, HIV transmission occurred in 4 of 39 deliveries (10%), of which 2 occurred among 34 deliveries (5.8%) of women know to be HIV+ and 2 among 5 deliveries (40%) of women not aware of being HIV+ (P = 0.08).

Conclusions:
Pregnant Ethiopian immigrants whose HIV status was known during pregnancy were at relatively high risk of HIV transmission despite the availability of antiretroviral drugs and counseling. This is likely due to inadequate adherence to ART[2] preventive regimens and is not dissimilar to the poor adherence observed among other immigrant groups in western countries. The substantial proportion of women, all Ethiopians, unaware of being HIV+ at delivery, together with the significantly higher HIV transmission in that group compared to women who knew their HIV status, call for a revision of the current Ministry of Health opt-in policy for prenatal HIV screening.

 






[1] HIV = human immunodeficiency virus

[2] ART = antiretroviral therapy


G. Katz, R. Durst, E. Shufman, R. Bar-Hamburger and L. Grunhaus

Background: The co-morbidity rate of illicit substance abuse and major mental problems in Israel is far from clear.

Objectives: To investigate the extent of drug abuse in a sample of psychiatric patients hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital and in the psychiatric department of a general hospital in Israel, to compare demographic and other background factors in dual-diagnosis patients with those of abuse-free mental inpatients, and to examine the time correlation between drug abuse and the appearance of major mental problems.

Methods: Our data were derived from self-report and urine tests. The study population comprised 470 consecutively admitted patients – 250 patients in the mental health center and 220 patients in the psychiatric department of the general hospital.

Results: The lifetime prevalence of drug abuse was 24%; cannabis abuse was found in 19.7%, opiates in 5.7%, cocaine in 2.7%, amphetamines in 3.4% and methamphetamine in 1.1%. Active abuse of drugs (during the last month) was registered in 17.3%, cannabis in 11.5%, opiates in 4.9%, amphetamine in 3.8%, cocaine in 1.3% and methamphetamine in 1.1%. We also found that 28.2% of active abusers used two or more substances. In 41.6% the drug abuse appeared prior to symptoms of the mental disorder; in 37.1% the duration of the mental disorders and the drug abuse was relatively similar, and in 21.3% of cases the duration of mental problems was longer than the duration of drug abuse. Dual-diagnosis patients were younger than non-abusers, more often male, unmarried, and of western origin.

Conclusions: Substance abuse (especially cannabis) among hospitalized psychiatric patients in Israel is a growing problem.

October 2002
Yehuda Neumark, PhD, Yechiel Friedlander, PhD and Rachel Bar-Hamburger, PhD

Background: Various studies support the concept of an inherited vulnerability to drug dependency, while emphasizing the importance of social and environmental influences and their interactions

Objectives: To compare the characteristics of heroin-dependent Jewish men in Israel with those of the general population, focusing on the nature of family history of substance abuse.

Method: This case-control study compares 64 heroin-dependent Jewish male residents of Jerusalem with a community sample of 131 randomly selected Jerusalem residents with no drug use disorder. Univariate and mulbvariate moderns were employed to appraise the independent associations between heroin dependence and exposure variables such as family history of substance misuse and exposure to legal psychoactive substances.

Results: The case group is characterized by heavy tobacco and' alcohol involvement. Nearly 70% of the cases report an alcohol and/or drug problem in at least one first-degree relative compared with 10% of controls (odds ratio 14.5, adjusted for sociodemographic and other potential confounders). Cases with a positive family history have, on average, higher alcohol consumption levels and higher heroin-use severity scores, as compared with cases with no such history.

Conclusions: Familial aggregation of drug and alcohol problems, along with smoking at a young age, is the strongest predictor of heroin dependence in this population. Better understanding of the components underlying this familial aggregation can lead to improved prevention and treatment strategies.
 

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