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Burns ; 49(4): 757-769, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235187


Self-immolation is the act of setting fire to oneself. Recent spikes in self-immolation events have been noticed in the Arab world, specifically in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011. We aimed to examine the literature assessing the characteristics and patterns of suicide by self-immolation in the Arab world. We registered our systematic review in Prospero. We searched PubMed, Medline, PsycInfo, Embase, and Scopus databases from inception until 9 July 2022, along with other sources, following the PRISMA 2020 guidelines. We collected relevant articles tackling suicide by self-immolation in the Arab world via title and abstract screening followed by full-text screening. We then conducted a narrative synthesis of the results. Out of 326 records from databases and 17 additional records identified through other sources, 31 articles (27 quantitative and 4 qualitative) were included. The studies came from Iraq (n = 16), Tunisia (n = 6), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (n = 3), Jordan (n = 2), Libya (n = 2), Bahrain (n = 1), and Egypt (n = 1). The quantitative studies had a sample size ranging from 22 to 600 self-inflicted burn victims. Studies showed that self-immolators were mostly married women with low educational level and low socioeconomic status. Self-immolation was more likely to happen at home, usually following marital conflicts. Kerosene was the accelerant used the most. Depression was the most comorbid mental health diagnosis. Studies highlighted that self-immolation was being increasignly used as a form of protest. Self-immolation is not uncommon in the Arab world. Specific interventions directed at the population at risk are warranted.

Burns , Suicide , Humans , Female , Arab World , Burns/epidemiology , Burns/psychology , Suicide/psychology , Marriage , Educational Status
BMC Psychiatry ; 23(1): 284, 2023 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2297804


BACKGROUND: In 2020, Lebanon has witnessed its worst economic crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a massive explosion of its capital. Amidst these stressors, this study aims at assessing the prevalence of depression, anxiety, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cognitive impairment in patients undergoing hemodialysis in an academic hospital destroyed by the explosion. METHODS: This cross-sectional study conducted 6 months after the blast included adults on hemodialysis, with no previous diagnoses of dementia or intellectual disability. It explores prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders, in addition to other medical and psychosocial variables such as frailty, malnutrition, sarcopenia, quality of life and religiosity. RESULTS: Forty two patients (mean age 66.1; SD: 11.2 years) undergoing hemodialysis for 6.12 years (SD:7.22 years) were included. Anxiety and depression rates reached 54.8% and 57.1% using cut-offs of 6 and 7 respectively on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression rating Scale. 9.5% of the patients reported being in the hospital at the time of the blast and 7.1% reported being injured. 33.3% screened positively for PTSD using a cut-off of 23 on the PCL-5. 26.2% had passive death wishes and 7.1% had suicide plans, however no one had attempted it. 23.8% were found cognitively impaired as shown by the Mini-Cog (<3). Around two-third of participants were moderately to severely malnourished per the GLIM criteria. One third suffered from frailty, according to the FRAIL screening tool. Around 60% suffered from sarcopenia, based on handgrip strength measures. These findings contrast with "acceptable to good" quality of life subjectively reported by participants on the Short Form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey. While one-third of participants participated in organizational religious activities, 88% reported significant subjective meaning of religion in their heart. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidality, and cognitive impairment were found to be alarming in the setting of an urban dialysis unit following a major explosion. Psychiatric disorders were found to be compounded with increased prevalence of malnutrition, frailty, and sarcopenia. These findings urge healthcare providers to implement early diagnostic and intervention strategies to improve both mental and physical wellbeing of this vulnerable population, in similar settings.

COVID-19 , Frailty , Sarcopenia , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Adult , Humans , Aged , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Quality of Life , Frailty/epidemiology , Hand Strength , Sarcopenia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Renal Dialysis
Ann Clin Psychiatry ; 34(2): 123-135, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1811357


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been associated with the emergence of various psychiatric illnesses, although very little literature has focused on the effect of COVID-19 on psychosis. Preliminary data have shown possible increases in new-onset psychosis. METHODS: Using MEDLINE, we performed a review of the current literature to identify the mechanisms by which pandemics may increase psychosis risk and generate evidence-based recommendations to control surges of psychosis. We identified 85 relevant studies, of which 34 were case reports on psychosis during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Underlying mechanisms of psychosis include "direct viral mechanisms," such as neuroinflammation linked with the coronavirus, and "nonviral mechanisms," such as stress, isolation, and uncertainty. CONCLUSIONS: Improvement of our understanding of the pathophysiology of psychosis related to COVID-19 along with implementation of strategies to fight against stress and social isolation in addition to awareness campaigns regarding new-onset psychotic symptoms are much needed to optimize early detection and management of psychosis.

COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Psychotic Disorders/diagnosis , Social Isolation