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Poisonings in Alberta - A Retrospective Population Based Study Open Access


Other title
drug overdose
mental health
self harm
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chordiya, Pritam M
Supervisor and department
Voaklander, Don (School of Public Health)
Examining committee member and department
Eurich, Dean (School of Public Health)
Carroll, Linda (School of Public Health)
Department of Public Health Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Poisoning injuries constitute a significant health problem worldwide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of deaths and poisoning is the most common method utilized for the same. The objectives of this program of research were: 1) to systematically review existing studies analyzing the relationship between incidence of poisoning and mental health conditions in adolescents; 2) to understand which patient factors are related to the receipt of a professional consultation in poisoning cases visiting the emergency department. Two chapters contributed to accomplish the overall study goals. The first study (Chapter 2) was a systematic review that evaluated the relationship between incidence of poisoning and presence of mental conditions. The 10 included studies were abstracted, appraised, and their results were analyzed. We were unable to perform meta-analysis due to large heterogeneity across studies and lack of SE as included studies performed descriptive analysis. Studies included in the review demonstrated a trend indicating adolescents with a mental health condition to be at higher risk of poisoning related ER visit. Depression was the most dominant condition amongst those with a mental health condition; however the evidence is not sufficient to show a cause-effect relationship between presence of mental health condition and risk of poisoning. The second study (Chapter 3) described the circumstances that lead to emergency department visits due to poisoning-related injury events across all age groups in Alberta for the year 2010. This retrospective chart review was conducted by collecting poisoning-related emergency department data from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Covenant Health, which maintain healthcare information for all Alberta residents accessing these services. The categorical data between groups was analyzed by using the Chi square test; odds ratio and confidence interval was calculated by multivariable logistic regression analysis. The retrospective study found prescription of form 1 or 10, underlying mental health conditions, history of self-harm and overdosing on recreational drugs to be associated to being referred for professional mental health consultations. While nuances exist by age between types of substances used, the problem is still highly prevalent across the lifespan. Joint efforts from different sectors including governments, health workers, schools, advocacy groups and mental health organizations is required to effectively reduce the impact from this important public health problem.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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