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Malawi Medical Journal

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Alcohol use and psychological wellbeing of health workers in a Nigerian Hospital: An exploratory study

Adetunji Obadeji, Lateef Oluwole, Mobolaji Dada, Michael Oshatimi

Abstract


Background

The degree of alcohol use influences one’s mental health and psychological wellbeing. Psychological well-being of health workers, however, is crucial to the quality of care their patients receive.

Aims

The aim of this study was to determine the pattern of alcohol use and factors associated with psychological well-being of health care workers at a University Teaching Hospital.

Methods

This was a cross sectional survey of health workers in the medical and surgical specialties at the State University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. Socio-demographic questionnaire, the 10-items Alcohol Use Identification Test (AUDIT) and the 12-items General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) were used to assess socio-demographic, alcohol use and psychological well-being of the participants. Statistical analyses were done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. Appropriate statistical tools were used to determine relationships between various variables.

Results

A total of 256 participants were interviewed. Fifteen (5.9%) of the respondents were either hazardous or harmful drinkers. Psychological distress was reported among 17.2% of the respondents and this was significantly associated with marital status, years of practice, specialty of practice, presence of ongoing chronic illness, current stressors and level of alcohol use.

Conclusion

A high proportion of the participants in the study were abstainers and a significant number were experiencing psychological distress. Psychological distress was however found to be significantly associated with harmful alcohol use, some socio-demographic variables, and work related factors. Efforts should be geared towards identifying these factors so as to ensure effectiveness and well-being of health workers.
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