Objective: Mental illness is an important public health concern, often starting early in life and particularly impacting children from low-and middle-income countries. Our aims were to 1) determine, in a representative sample of public preschool 4- to 5-year old children in Brazil, the prevalence of internalizing and externalizing disorders and socioemotional development delays; and 2) to identify modifiable risk factors associated with mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders (MBDD), such as microsystem (i.e., parent-child relationship), mesosystem (social support), and macrosystem contextual factors (neighborhood disadvantage). Methods: A random sample of public preschool children was recruited in the city of Embu das Artes (São Paulo metropolitan area) (n=1,292 from 30 public preschools). Six-month prevalence of MBDD was measured using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE). Results: Six-month prevalence estimates were 25.4% for internalizing disorders, 12.1% for externalizing disorders, and 30.3% for socioemotional development delays. MBDD prevalence estimates were higher in families with stressful relationships and parental depression or anxiety, and in families with lower social capital. Conclusion: At least 25% of preschool children living in an urban area in Brazil presented a mental health disorder. These mental disorder were associated with modifiable factors such as stressful family relationships and lower social capital. Prevention and intervention measures such as family therapy are needed to decrease such high prevalence.
Objective: To review the literature regarding adolescent suicide risk and explore the associations between treatment compliance (expressed as a concept including measured adherence to treatment and/or mental health service utilization) and risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior (SB), as well as the association between treatment compliance and reattempts. Methods: PubMed, LILACS, and Google Scholar were searched using the following terms: (adolescent*) AND (suicide*) AND (risk factor OR protective factors) AND (treatment compliance OR treatment attrition OR treatment adherence OR treatment drop out OR treatment retention OR mental health utilization). We retrieved studies that focused on the relation of treatment compliance to risk and protective factors for SB and that had only adolescent samples. Results: Of 4,841 articles, 30 original articles were selected for review. Most studies indicated high mental health service (MHS) utilization and poor treatment adherence by SB patients. Social minority status and conduct disorder were associated with less treatment adherence, while female sex, parental perceived need for treatment, and major depression were associated with greater treatment adherence. Inpatient and intensive emergency care after SA and family interventions improved MHS utilization and treatment compliance. However, we found no substantial protective effect of treatment compliance against reattempts. Conclusion: Effective treatment planning for compliance requires considering psychopathology, treatment planning, and social, familial, and individual factors.
Objective: To explore the contribution of a mindfulness-based intervention as an adjuvant to outpatient substance use disorder treatment. Outcomes included substance use behavior, depression and anxiety symptoms, and anger expression. Methods: This preliminary study for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial with stratified random allocation included three months of follow-up. In two outpatient clinics linked to public universities, a mindfulness-based intervention plus treatment as usual (experimental group n=22) was compared to treatment as usual (control group n=20). The study included data from self-report measurements and the patients’ records, which were evaluated according to intention-to-treat analysis through generalized estimating equations and generalized method of moments estimation. Results: The experimental group had lower symptoms of depression (b=-6.82; 95%CI -12.45 to -1.18) and anxiety (b=-0.25; 95%CI -0.42 to -0.09), and anger expression (b=-9.76; 95%CI -18.98 to -0.54) three months after the intervention. We detected no effect on substance use behavior. Conclusion: The mindfulness-based intervention yielded promising results as an adjuvant to outpatient substance use disorder treatment, since it reduced levels of highly prevalent symptoms in this population. However, further studies with longer follow-up periods and larger samples are required.
Objective: Adolescent substance abuse is a public health concern worldwide, and its prevention is the subject of numerous programmatic efforts. Yet, little research exists on the structure of drug-related belief patterns in youth and their utility in preventive program planning. The aim of this study is to determine the structure of drug-related beliefs among 12-15-year-old students in Brazil using latent class analysis. Methods: De-identified survey data were obtained from the baseline sample (n=6,176) of a randomized controlled trial on the #Tamojunto drug use prevention program in Brazilian middle schools. Using 11 survey items assessing drug-related beliefs as indicators, four models were run and assessed for goodness-of-fit. For the best fitting model, demographic variables and substance use across latent classes were assessed. Results: Model fit statistics indicated that the best fit was a three-class solution, comprising a large Drug-Averse Beliefs class (80.9%), a smaller Permissive Beliefs class (12.7%), and an Inconsistent Beliefs class (6.4%). Respondents in the Permissive Beliefs and Inconsistent Beliefs classes reported greater past-year drug use, were slightly older and less likely to be female than those in the Drug-Averse Beliefs class. Conclusions: These results indicate that conceptualizing drug beliefs as a categorical latent variable may be useful for informing prevention. Longitudinal studies are needed to establish temporality and assess further applicability of this construct.
This article continues our presentation of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association guidelines for the management of patients with suicidal behavior, with a focus on screening, intervention, postvention, prevention, and promotion. For the development of these guidelines, we conducted a systematic review of the MEDLINE (via PubMed), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Web of Science, and SciELO databases for research published from 1997 to 2020. Systematic reviews, clinical trials, and cohort/observational studies on screening, intervention, and prevention in suicidal behavior were included. This project involved 14 Brazilian psychiatry professionals and 1 psychologist selected by the Psychiatric Emergencies Committee of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association for their experience and knowledge in psychiatry and psychiatric emergencies. Publications were evaluated according to the 2011 Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM) Levels of Evidence Classification. Eighty-five articles were reviewed (of 5,362 initially collected and 755 abstracts on the drug approach). Forms of screening, intervention, and prevention are presented. The intervention section presents evidence for psychotherapeutic and drug interventions. For the latter, it is important to remember that each medication is effective only for specific groups and should not replace treatment protocols. We maintain our recommendation for the use of universal screening plus intervention. Although the various studies differ in terms of the populations evaluated and several proposals are presented, there is already significant evidence for certain interventions. Suicidal behavior can be analyzed by evidence-based medicine protocols. Currently, the best strategy is to combine several techniques through the Safety Plan. Nevertheless, further research on the topic is needed to elucidate some approaches with particular potential for intervention and prevention. Systematic review registry number: CRD42020206517
Objective: We examined the sociodemographic factors associated with smoking risk perceptions (SRP) in youth living in two very different neighborhoods in the city of São Paulo, Brazil: a middle-class central area (Vila Mariana) and a poor outer-city area (Capão Redondo). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 180 public school-attending youth (all aged 12 years) and their parents. SRP was evaluated through self-reports. Weighted multinomial logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with SRP. Results: Smoking was considered a high-risk behavior by 70.9% of adolescents. There were significant differences in SRP associated with socioeconomic status (SES) and maternal smoking status. Having a non-smoking mother was positively associated with perceiving smoking as having low to moderate risk versus no risk (OR=3.91 [95%CI 1.27-12.02]). Attending school in Capão Redondo was associated with perceiving smoking as having high risk compared to no risk (OR=3.00 [95%CI 1.11-8.12]), and low SES was negatively associated with perceiving at least some risk in smoking versus perceiving no risk in this behavior. Conclusions: Youth whose mothers smoke appear to have lower SRP than those whose mothers do not smoke. Living in a poor outer-city area was associated with higher SRP.
Objective: The effects of exposure to violent events in adolescence have not been sufficiently studied in middle-income countries such as Brazil. The aims of this study are to investigate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among 12-year-olds in two neighborhoods with different socioeconomic status (SES) levels in São Paulo and to examine the influence of previous violent events and SES on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders. Methods: Students from nine public schools in two neighborhoods of São Paulo were recruited. Students and parents answered questions about demographic characteristics, SES, urbanicity and violent experiences. All participants completed the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS) to obtain DSM-IV diagnoses. The data were analyzed using weighted logistic regression with neighborhood stratification after adjusting for neighborhood characteristics, gender, SES and previous traumatic events. Results: The sample included 180 individuals, of whom 61.3% were from low SES and 39.3% had experienced a traumatic event. The weighted prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 21.7%. Having experienced a traumatic event and having low SES were associated with having an internalizing (adjusted OR = 5.46; 2.17-13.74) or externalizing disorder (adjusted OR = 4.33; 1.85-10.15). Conclusions: Investment in reducing SES inequalities and preventing violent events during childhood may improve the mental health of youths from low SES backgrounds.