Smoking and its psychiatric comorbidity among a sample of inpatients in a general hospital in Cairo

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed at estimating the prevalence of smoking in patients who were admitted to departments of neurology, chest, oncology, and general surgery of a general hospital in Cairo over a 6-month period. It also aimed at determining the relationship between smoking, stress, anxiety, depression, and personality characteristics in those patients.

Patients and methods

A selective sample comprising patients who were admitted to departments of neurology, chest, oncology, and general surgery of a general hospital in Cairo every Tuesday over a 6-month period was included in the study. The patients were fully conscious and cooperative; their ages ranged from 18 to 60 years. The patients were classified into four categories: current, past, passive, and nonsmokers. The Smoking Questionnaire, The Symptom Checklist-90-R, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the Social Readjusting Rating Scale, the Beck Anxiety Scale, and the Beck Depression Inventory were used.

Results

Most of the patients (64%) were admitted to neurology or chest departments (32.7 and 31.3%, respectively). The smoking groups (current and past smokers) showed a male predominance (90 and 93.1%, respectively) in comparison with passive smokers and nonsmokers (60 and 61.3%, respectively). Most of the current smokers belonged to the ‘mild anxiety’ and ‘severe anxiety’ categories (70 and 26%, respectively). Among the past smokers, 58.6% had mild anxiety, 27.6% had severe anxiety, and 13.8% had low anxiety. Eighty percent of current smokers had mild and moderate depression (62 and 18%, respectively), and 69% of past smokers had mild and moderate depression (55.2 and 13.8%, respectively), with a high statistical significance (P<0.001). Most of the current smokers had mild or severe stress (54 and 28%, respectively), whereas most passive and nonsmokers had normal stress levels (55 and 61.3%, respectively). Current and passive smokers showed the highest mean levels on the symptom checklist (2.788±0.467 and 2.825±0.426, respectively). Similarly, the highest mean levels of psychoticism were reported among current smokers (18.78±3.259). The highest mean level of neuroticism was reported among current smokers (19.46±2.032).

Conclusion

Current smokers have higher anxiety, depression, stress, and psychoticism personality characteristics.

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