Publications by authors named "Amira Mohammed Ali"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Skeletal Muscle Damage in COVID-19: A Call for Action.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2021 Apr 12;57(4). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Teikyo University, Tokyo 173-8605, Japan.

Both laboratory investigations and body composition quantification measures (e.g., computed tomography, CT) portray muscle loss in symptomatic Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Muscle loss is associated with a poor prognosis of the disease. The exact mechanism of muscle damage in COVID-19 patients, as well as the long-term consequences of muscle injury in disease survivors, are unclear. The current review briefly summarizes the literature for mechanisms, assessment measures, and interventions relevant to skeletal muscle insult in COVID-19 patients. Muscle injury is likely to be attributed to the cytokine storm, disease severity, malnutrition, prolonged physical inactivity during intensive care unit (ICU) stays, mechanical ventilation, and myotoxic drugs (e.g., dexamethasone). It has been assessed by imaging and non-imaging techniques (e.g., CT and electromyography), physical performance tests (e.g., six-minute walk test), anthropometric measures (e.g., calf circumference), and biomarkers of muscle dystrophy (e.g., creatine kinase). Interventions directed toward minimizing muscle loss among COVID-19 patients are lacking. However, limited evidence shows that respiratory rehabilitation improves respiratory function, muscle strength, quality of life, and anxiety symptoms in recovering older COVID-19 patients. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation may restore muscle condition in ICU-admitted patients, albeit empirical evidence is needed. Given the contribution of malnutrition to disease severity and muscle damage, providing proper nutritional management for emaciated patients may be one of the key issues to achieve a better prognosis and prevent the after-effects of the disease. Considerable attention to longer-term consequences of muscle injury in recovering COVID-19 patients is necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina57040372DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069858PMC
April 2021

Hypoproteinemia predicts disease severity and mortality in COVID-19: a call for action.

Diagn Pathol 2021 Apr 13;16(1):31. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.

Proteins represent the major building blocks of body tissues, and they regulate signaling involved in most cellular activities. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has been associated with high fatality, especially among older adults. The main cause of death is pulmonary tissue damage and multiple organ failure. The disease is associated with a hypercatabolic state that entails excessive protein loss. This review commentary sheds the light on hypoproteinemia in symptomatic/hospitalized COVID-19 with a special emphasis on its pathophysiology, screening, as well as its contribution to disease severity and adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13000-021-01092-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042835PMC
April 2021

The Arabic Version of the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale: Factorial Validity and Measurement Invariance.

Brain Sci 2021 Mar 26;11(4). Epub 2021 Mar 26.

National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan.

University students experience high levels of stress due to university transition, academic commitments, and financial matters. Higher stress perceptions along with limited coping resources endanger mental health for a considerable number of students and may ruin their performance. The current study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (10 items), PSS-10, in a sample of 379 female Emeriti students. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in two factors with eigenvalues of 3.88 and 1.19, which explained 60.6% of the variance. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed good model fits of two correlated factors (Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.962, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) = 0.950, standardized root-mean-square residual (SRMR) = 0.0479, and root mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.067). Internal consistency of the PSS-10 and its positive and negative subscales was acceptable (coefficient α = 0.67, 0.79, and 0.86, respectively). Multigroup analysis revealed that the PSS-10 holds invariance across different groups of age, marital status, and financial status (average monthly expenditure). Convergent and concurrent validity tests signify the importance of considering scores of subscales of the PSS-10 along with its total score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11040419DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066085PMC
March 2021

Approaches to Nutritional Screening in Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 9;18(5). Epub 2021 Mar 9.

National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan.

Malnutrition is common among severe patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), mainly elderly adults and patients with comorbidities. It is also associated with atypical presentation of the disease. Despite the possible contribution of malnutrition to the acquisition and severity of COVID-19, it is not clear which nutritional screening measures may best diagnose malnutrition in these patients at early stages. This is of crucial importance given the urgency and rapid progression of the disease in vulnerable groups. Accordingly, this review examines the available literature for different nutritional screening approaches implemented among COVID-19 patients, with a special focus on elderly adults. After a literature search, we selected and scrutinized 14 studies assessing malnutrition among COVID-19 patients. The Nutrition Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002) has demonstrated superior sensitivity to other traditional screening measures. The controlling nutritional status (CONUT) score, which comprises serum albumin level, cholesterol level, and lymphocytes count, as well as a combined CONUT-lactate dehydrogenase-C-reactive protein score expressed a predictive capacity even superior to that of NRS-2002 (0.81% and 0.92% vs. 0.79%) in midlife and elder COVID-19 patients. Therefore, simple measures based on routinely conducted laboratory investigations such as the CONUT score may be timely, cheap, and valuable alternatives for identifying COVID-19 patients with high nutritional risk. Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) was the only measure used to detect residual malnutrition and high malnutrition risk in remitting patients-MNA scores correlated with hypoalbuminemia, hypercytokinemia, and weight loss. Older males with severe inflammation, gastrointestinal symptoms, and pre-existing comorbidities (diabetes, obesity, or hypertension) are more prone to malnutrition and subsequently poor COVID-19 prognosis both during the acute phase and during convalescence. Thus, they are in need of frequent nutritional monitoring and support while detecting and treating malnutrition in the general public might be necessary to increase resilience against COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052772DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967488PMC
March 2021

Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies.

Molecules 2021 Feb 25;26(5). Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan.

Despite the virulence and high fatality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), no specific antiviral treatment exists until the current moment. Natural agents with immune-promoting potentials such as bee products are being explored as possible treatments. Bee honey and propolis are rich in bioactive compounds that express strong antimicrobial, bactericidal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant activities. This review examined the literature for the anti-COVID-19 effects of bee honey and propolis, with the aim of optimizing the use of these handy products as prophylactic or adjuvant treatments for people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Molecular simulations show that flavonoids in propolis and honey (e.g., rutin, naringin, caffeic acid phenyl ester, luteolin, and artepillin C) may inhibit viral spike fusion in host cells, viral-host interactions that trigger the cytokine storm, and viral replication. Similar to the potent antiviral drug remdesivir, rutin, propolis ethanolic extract, and propolis liposomes inhibited non-structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and these compounds along with naringin inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero E6 cells. Propolis extracts delivered by nanocarriers exhibit better antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2 than ethanolic extracts. In line, hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving green Brazilian propolis or a combination of honey and exhibited earlier viral clearance, symptom recovery, discharge from the hospital as well as less mortality than counterparts receiving standard care alone. Thus, the use of bee products as an adjuvant treatment for COVID-19 may produce beneficial effects. Implications for treatment outcomes and issues to be considered in future studies are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7956496PMC
February 2021

Intermittent Fasting, Dietary Modifications, and Exercise for the Control of Gestational Diabetes and Maternal Mood Dysregulation: A Review and a Case Report.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 15;17(24). Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common pregnancy-related condition afflicting 5-36% of pregnancies. It is associated with many morbid maternal and fetal outcomes. Mood dysregulations (MDs, e.g., depression, distress, and anxiety) are common among women with GDM, and they exacerbate its prognosis and hinder its treatment. Hence, in addition to early detection and proper management of GDM, treating the associated MDs is crucial. Maternal hyperglycemia and MDs result from a complex network of genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. This review briefly explores mechanisms that underlie GDM and prenatal MDs. It also describes the effect of exercise, dietary modification, and intermittent fasting (IF) on metabolic and affective dysfunctions exemplified by a case report. In this patient, interventions such as IF considerably reduced maternal body weight, plasma glucose, and psychological distress without any adverse effects. Thus, IF is one measure that can control GDM and maternal MDs; however, more investigations are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765295PMC
December 2020

Apitherapy for Parkinson's Disease: A Focus on the Effects of Propolis and Royal Jelly.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2020 17;2020:1727142. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.

The vast increase of world's aging populations is associated with increased risk of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). PD is a widespread disorder characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, which encompasses a wide range of debilitating motor, emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms. PD threatens the quality of life of millions of patients and their families. Additionally, public welfare and healthcare systems are burdened with its high cost of care. Available treatments provide only a symptomatic relief and produce a trail of noxious side effects, which increase noncompliance. Hence, researchers have recently focused on the use of nutraceuticals as safe adjunctive treatments of PD to limit its progress and associated damages in affected groups. Propolis is a common product of the beehive, which possesses a large number of therapeutic properties. Royal jelly (RJ) is a bee product that is fed to bee queens during their entire life, and it contributes to their high physical fitness, fertility, and long lifespan. Evidence suggests that propolis and RJ can promote health by preventing the occurrence of age-related debilitating diseases. Therefore, they have been used to treat various serious disorders such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Some evolving studies used these bee products to treat PD in animal models. However, a clear understanding of the collective effect of propolis and RJ as well as their mechanism of action in PD is lacking. This review evaluates the available literature for the effects of propolis and RJ on PD. Whenever possible, it elaborates on the underlying mechanisms through which they function in this disorder and offers insights for fruitful use of bee products in future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/1727142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7586183PMC
October 2020

Royal Jelly as an Intelligent Anti-Aging Agent-A Focus on Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer's Disease: A Review.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Sep 29;9(10). Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan.

The astronomical increase of the world's aged population is associated with the increased prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, heightened disability, and extremely high costs of care. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a widespread, age-related, multifactorial neurodegenerative disease that has enormous social and financial drawbacks worldwide. The unsatisfactory outcomes of available AD pharmacotherapy necessitate the search for alternative natural resources that can target various the underlying mechanisms of AD pathology and reduce disease occurrence and/or progression. Royal jelly (RJ) is the main food of bee queens; it contributes to their fertility, long lifespan, and memory performance. It represents a potent nutraceutical with various pharmacological properties, and has been used in a number of preclinical studies to target AD and age-related cognitive deterioration. To understand the mechanisms through which RJ affects cognitive performance both in natural aging and AD, we reviewed the literature, elaborating on the metabolic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms that mediate its anti-AD effects. Preclinical findings revealed that RJ acts as a multidomain cognitive enhancer that can restore cognitive performance in aged and AD models. It promotes brain cell survival and function by targeting multiple adversities in the neuronal microenvironment such as inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial alterations, impaired proteostasis, amyloid-β toxicity, Ca excitotoxicity, and bioenergetic challenges. Human trials using RJ in AD are limited in quantity and quality. Here, the limitations of RJ-based treatment strategies are discussed, and directions for future studies examining the effect of RJ in cognitively impaired subjects are noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9100937DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7601550PMC
September 2020

Apitherapy for Age-Related Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction (Sarcopenia): A Review on the Effects of Royal Jelly, Propolis, and Bee Pollen.

Foods 2020 Sep 25;9(10). Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan.

The global pandemic of sarcopenia, skeletal muscle loss and weakness, which prevails in up to 50% of older adults is increasing worldwide due to the expansion of aging populations. It is now striking young and midlife adults as well because of sedentary lifestyle and increased intake of unhealthy food (e.g., western diet). The lockdown measures and economic turndown associated with the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are likely to increase the prevalence of sarcopenia by promoting sedentarism and unhealthy patterns of eating. Sarcopenia has multiple detrimental effects including falls, hospitalization, disability, and institutionalization. Although a few pharmacological agents (e.g., bimagrumab, sarconeos, and exercise mimetics) are being explored in different stages of trials, not a single drug has been approved for sarcopenia treatment. Hence, research has focused on testing the effect of nutraceuticals, such as bee products, as safe treatments to prevent and/or treat sarcopenia. Royal jelly, propolis, and bee pollen are common bee products that are rich in highly potent antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenols, and amino acids. These products, in order, stimulate larval development into queen bees, promote defenses of the bee hive against microbial and environmental threats, and increase royal jelly production by nurse bees. Thanks to their versatile pharmacological activities (e.g., anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, etc.), these products have been used to treat multiple chronic conditions that predispose to muscle wasting such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorder, and cancer, to name a few. They were also used in some evolving studies to treat sarcopenia in laboratory animals and, to a limited degree, in humans. However, a collective understanding of the effect and mechanism of action of these products in skeletal muscle is not well-developed. Therefore, this review examines the literature for possible effects of royal jelly, bee pollen, and propolis on skeletal muscle in aged experimental models, muscle cell cultures, and humans. Collectively, data from reviewed studies denote varying levels of positive effects of bee products on muscle mass, strength, and function. The likely underlying mechanisms include amelioration of inflammation and oxidative damages, promotion of metabolic regulation, enhancement of satellite stem cell responsiveness, improvement of muscular blood supply, inhibition of catabolic genes, and promotion of peripheral neuronal regeneration. This review offers suggestions for other mechanisms to be explored and provides guidance for future trials investigating the effects of bee products among people with sarcopenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods9101362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7601109PMC
September 2020

Psychological Climacteric Symptoms and Attitudes toward Menopause among Emirati Women.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 07 13;17(14). Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Zayed University, Dubai 19282, UAE.

Menopause is an inevitable developmental event that women encounter at an age of 42-54 years. The drop of estrogen levels that accompanies cessation of menstruation is associated with multiple vasomotor, physical, neuropsychological, and sexual symptoms, which may hamper quality of life. This study aimed to examine the severity of psychological symptoms and their correlates among peri- and postmenopausal Emirati women (N = 60, mean age = 54.88 ± 6 years). Participants were interviewed using the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) and attitudes toward menopause scale (ATMS). In four path analysis models, vasomotor symptoms, weight gain, and fatigue had significant direct effects on symptoms of anxiety, depression (only weight gain and fatigue), and psychological distress. Fatigue significantly mediated the effects of vasomotor symptoms and weight gain on symptoms of anxiety, depression (only vasomotor symptoms), psychological distress, and memory problems. These models explained 47.6%, 44.5%, 56.6%, and 29.1% of the variances in anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and memory problems, respectively. Participants with more severe menopausal symptoms expressed more negative attitudes toward menopause though regression analysis revealed that only vasomotor symptoms could significantly contribute to ATMS scores. In conclusion, psychological distress is widespread among menopausal women, and it is associated with vasomotor symptoms, fatigue, and change of body composition (obesity). Psychological symptoms, along with vasomotor symptoms, express a key link to negative attitudes toward menopause. Therefore, interventional strategies that target psychological distress may promote coping with midlife transition and improve mental health among menopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400692PMC
July 2020

Royal Jelly and Its Components Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity: From Animal Models to Humans.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Sep 20;20(19). Epub 2019 Sep 20.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan.

Aging is a natural phenomenon that occurs in all living organisms. In humans, aging is associated with lowered overall functioning and increased mortality out of the risk for various age-related diseases. Hence, researchers are pushed to find effective natural interventions that can promote healthy aging and extend lifespan. Royal jelly (RJ) is a natural product that is fed to bee queens throughout their entire life. Thanks to RJ, bee queens enjoy an excellent reproductive function and lengthened lifespan compared with bee workers, despite the fact that they have the same genome. This review aimed to investigate the effect of RJ and/or its components on lifespan/healthspan in various species by evaluating the most relevant studies. Moreover, we briefly discussed the positive effects of RJ on health maintenance and age-related disorders in humans. Whenever possible, we explored the metabolic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms through which RJ can modulate age-related mechanisms to extend lifespan. RJ and its ingredients-proteins and their derivatives e.g., royalactin; lipids e.g., 10-hydroxydecenoic acid; and vitamins e.g., pantothenic acid-improved healthspan and extended lifespan in worker honeybees , flies, crickets, silkworms, nematodes, and mice. The longevity effect was attained via various mechanisms: downregulation of insulin-like growth factors and targeting of rapamycin, upregulation of the epidermal growth factor signaling, dietary restriction, and enhancement of antioxidative capacity. RJ and its protein and lipid ingredients have the potential to extend lifespan in various creatures and prevent senescence of human tissues in cell cultures. These findings pave the way to inventing specific RJ anti-aging drugs. However, much work is needed to understand the effect of RJ interactions with microbiome, diet, activity level, gender, and other genetic variation factors that affect healthspan and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6802361PMC
September 2019

Factor structure of the depression anxiety stress Scale-21 (DASS-21): Unidimensionality of the Arabic version among Egyptian drug users.

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2019 09 18;14(1):40. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

The Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Emotional distress is common among illicit drug users, and it can negatively affect treatment outcomes and increase the risk of relapse. Nonetheless, instruments that properly measure emotional distress are lacking. Therefore, this study investigated the factor structure of the Arabic Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) in that population.

Methods: The DASS-21 and the Self-stigma of Alcohol Dependence Scale (SSAD) were completed by 149 inpatient Egyptian drug users. The DASS-21 was examined using exploratory factor analysis, partial confirmatory factor analysis, and parallel analysis. For validation testing, correlations between stigma scores and DASS scores were computed.

Results: A one-factor solution provided the best fit to the DASS-21 data. Four items with low loadings were removed. The resulting DASS-17 was also unidimensional, and its reliability was high (0.88). On the validation tests, the DASS scores correlated with the stigma scores as hypothesized.

Conclusion: Subscales of the Arabic version of the DASS-21 do not differentiate between depression and anxiety. A modified 17-item version (the DASS-17) was suitable for measuring overall distress, and the results of convergent validation testing indicated that it was superior to the DASS-21.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13011-019-0226-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6751677PMC
September 2019

Bee honey protects astrocytes against oxidative stress: A preliminary in vitro investigation.

Neuropsychopharmacol Rep 2019 12 17;39(4):312-314. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo, Japan.

Aim: Bee honey is widely used as a bioactive food to improve general health and produce therapeutic benefits in various physical disorders. It also improves cognitive and mood-related behaviors and symptoms in mice and humans. Still, its direct effect on brain cells is unclear. Here, we examined the effect of whole honey on the survival of astrocytes exposed to oxidative stress.

Methods: Cultured cortical astrocytes were treated with honey (0.1%, 0.3%, 0.5%, 0.6%, 0.7%, 0.8%, 0.9%, 1%, 3%, and 5% [v/v]) for 24 hours followed by H O (100 μmol/L) for 3 hours. Cellular viability was assessed with MTT assay.

Results: Honey prevented cellular death in a dose-dependent manner compared with H O treated cells. Honey at 1% concentration had the most significant effect (P = .015).

Conclusion: Bee honey exerts a neuroprotective effect through its antioxidant activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/npr2.12079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292328PMC
December 2019

The Arabic Version of The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21: Cumulative scaling and discriminant-validation testing.

Asian J Psychiatr 2017 Dec 18;30:56-58. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

The Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Objective: This study aimed to examine the validity of the Arabic version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) in 149 illicit drug users.

Methods: We calculated α coefficient, inter-item and item-total correlations, coefficients of reproducibility and scalability (CR and CS), item difficulty and discrimination indices.

Results: The DASS-21 had an acceptable reliability; but values of the CR and the CS were less than acceptable. Items varied in difficulty and discrimination; some items are candidates for elimination.

Conclusion: The DASS-21 is a probabilistic and not a deterministic measure of distress; it has problematic items and needs further investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2017.07.018DOI Listing
December 2017