Publications by authors named "Michal Miovsky"

30 Publications

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Estimation of long-term costs of postacute care in survivors of the methanol poisoning outbreak.

BMJ Open 2021 05 19;11(5):e043037. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Addictology, Charles University, First Faculty of Medicine, Praha, Czech Republic.

Objectives: To fill the existing research gap related to long-term costs of postacute care in methanol poisoning survivors, healthcare cost for 6 years after the outbreak has been modelled and estimated.

Design: In a prospective longitudinal cohort study, data collected from 55 survivors of the Czech methanol mass poisoning outbreak in 2012 were collected in four rounds (5 months, then 2, 4 and 6 years after the discharge) in the General University Hospital in Prague according to the same predefined study protocol. The collected data were used to inform the cost model.

Setting And Participants: All 83 patients discharged from a hospital poisoning treatment after the 2012 methanol outbreak were informed about the study and invited to participate. Fifty-five patients (66%) gave their written informed consent and were followed until their death or the last follow-up 6 years later. The costs were modelled from the Czech healthcare service (general health insurance) perspective.

Main Outcome Measures: Long-term national budget impact of the methanol poisoning outbreak, frequencies of sequelae and their average costs.

Results: The postacute cost analysis concentrated on visual and neurological sequelae that were shown to be dominant. Collected data were used to create process maps portraying gradual changes in long-term sequelae over time. Individual process maps were created for the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, sequelae detected during eye examinations and sequelae concerning the visual evoked potentials. Based on the process maps the costs of the postacute outpatient care were estimated.

Conclusions: In 2013-2019 the highest costs per patient related to postacute care were found in the first year; the average costs decreased afterwards, and remained almost constant for the rest of the studied period of time. These costs per patient ranged from CZK4142 in 2013 to CZK1845 in 2018, when they raised to CZK2519 in 2019 again.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137204PMC
May 2021

Understanding the crisis in harm reduction funding in Central and Eastern Europe.

Harm Reduct J 2020 10 22;17(1):83. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, and General University Hospital in Prague, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: The harm reduction (HR) approach to injecting drug use was rapidly adopted in Central Europe following the fall of the Iron Curtain. The associated social and economic transformation had significant consequences for drug policies in the region. A large number of emerging services have been dependent on funding from a wide range of national and/or local funding programmes, which continue to be unstable, and closely associated with political decisions and insufficient institution building. A sharp distinction is made between health and social services, often without regard to client input. The main objective of the paper is to identify the causes of the funding problems currently faced by HR services in the context of their history of institution building which represents a major threat to the future of HR services in the region.

Methods: Qualitative content analysis of documents was conducted in the development of two case studies of the Czech and Slovak Republics. The body of documentation under study comprised policy documents, including National Drug Strategies, Action Plans, ministerial documents, and official budgets and financial schedules, as well as documents from the grey literature and expert opinions.

Results: The insufficient investments in finalising the process of the institution building of HR services have resulted in a direct threat to their sustainability. An unbalanced inclination to the institutionalisation of HR within the domain of social services has led to a misperception of their integrity, as well as to their funding and long-term sustainability being endangered. In addition, this tendency has had a negative impact on the process of the institutionalisation of HR within the system of healthcare.

Conclusion: The case study revealed a lack of systemic grounding of HR services as interdisciplinary health-social services. The aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008 fully revealed the limitations of the funding system established ad hoc in the 1990s, which remains present until today, together with all its weak points. The entire situation is responsible for the dangerous erosion of the interpretation of the concept of harm reduction, which is supported by various stereotypes and false, or ideological, interpretations of the concept.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00428-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7579931PMC
October 2020

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder among Clients Diagnosed with a Substance Use Disorder in the Therapeutic Communities: Prevalence and Psychiatric Comorbidity.

Eur Addict Res 2021 11;27(2):87-96. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czechia.

Background: Most severe substance use disorders (SUDs) are connected with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mental health problems. Therapeutic communities (TCs) provide a suitable option for the treatment of severe SUDs. The relationship between ADHD, the severity of the SUD, and other comorbidities in residential TCs is unknown.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of ADHD among clients with an SUD in residential rehab, and to compare the mental health of clients with and without ADHD.

Methods: A cohort study was conducted in 5 residential TCs (N = 180, 76.7% male, 53.9% 25-34 years, 79.2% diagnosed with methamphetamine use disorder). We assessed ADHD symptoms, substance use, mental health problems, and psychiatric symptoms.

Results: ADHD was found in 51% of the clients who showed significantly higher scores for their psychiatric status composite score (ASI-PSY) (F = 9.08, p < 0.001; t = 5.05, p < 0.001), the positive psychiatric symptoms total (SCL-PST) (F = 3.36, p < 0.05; t = 3.15, p < 0.01), and the global severity index (SCL-GSI) (F = 3.27, p < 0.05; t = 3.18, p < 0.01). The ASI-PSY and SCL correlated significantly with the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (Pearson's r's = 0.30-0.42, p's < 0.001) and the symptoms of hyperactivity disorder (r's = 0.24-0.30, p's < 0.01). Even when severity of substance use was accounted for, ADHD was confirmed as a significant predictor of ASI-PSY (B= 0.14, p < 0.001 for combined disorder; B = 0.20, p < 0.001 for attention disorder) and partially of SCL-PST (B = 8.12, p < 0.05 for attention disorder).

Conclusions: The ADHD prevalence in TCs was nearly 10-fold compared to the globally recorded values. ADHD diagnostic procedures and interventions should become an integral part of the standard diagnostic and treatment process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000508571DOI Listing
August 2020

Fatal injuries and economic development in the population sample of Central and Eastern European Countries: the perspective of adolescents.

Int J Public Health 2020 Nov 6;65(8):1403-1412. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: Researches consider the young generation (adolescents) to be the population group whose mortality from injury has the lowest effect on economic growth. The objective was to evaluate the relations between economic indicators and preventable injury mortality in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs), with a primary focus on adolescents.

Methods: The analyses included health indicators of preventable injury mortality and economic indicators that represent human development and economic growth in the CEECs from 1990 to 2016. The analytical process involved a population group divided by age (0-14 years: children, 15-24 years: adolescents, 25-74 years: adults) and gender. Descriptive analysis, cluster analysis and primarily panel regression analysis were used.

Results: Significant effects of economic indicators on drowning were found in all analysed relations. In the group of adolescents, significant effects of fatal falls were found. Overall, it can be concluded that the effects of fatal injuries are not homogenous between age and gender groups.

Conclusions: The effects of years and individual countries should be taken into account in the cross-sectional analyses. In terms of economic growth, public policies should focus on drowning in children, on falls in adolescents and on transport accidents, fire injuries and poisoning in adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00038-020-01449-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7588359PMC
November 2020

Health-related quality of life determinants in survivors of a mass methanol poisoning outbreak: six-year prospective cohort study.

Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2020 09 8;58(9):870-880. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Department of Occupational Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

The effect of acute methanol poisoning on the follow-up quality of life of survivors in mass poisoning outbreaks is not known. The objective of this is to study the impact of visual and central nervous system (CNS) sequelae of methanol poisoning on long-term health-related quality of life (QoL) of survivors, its clinical determinants, and dynamics. A total of 54 patients with confirmed methanol poisoning (mean age 46.7 ± 13.4 years, 9 females) were examined consequently three times within six-year prospective cohort study and compared to 23 controls with the history of chronic alcohol abuse. The following tests were performed: SF-36 QoL questionnaire, visual evoked potentials (VEP) of optic nerve, ocular examination with retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurement, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and biochemical and toxicological tests. Acute methanol poisoning led to significant decrease in physical component summary (PCS) compared to PCS of age-adjusted controls (mean score with SD 46.8 ± 11.0 versus 52.3 ± 9.4 points;  = .003). In 17/40 (42.5%) patients with three rounds of examination, signs of severe disability (≤30 points in at least one score) were present six years after discharge, with negative dynamics of PCS score during the observation period. The patients with abnormal RNFL thickness had lower PCS (mean difference 10.5 points; 95%CI 3.5-17.5,  = .004) and mental component summary score (9.5 points; 95%CI 1.9-17.1,  = .015) compared to the patients with normal RNFL. Signs of physical and mental adaptation to long-term visual sequelae were registered with gradual reduction of difference in most of physical and mental components scores compared to the patients with normal RNFL during six years of observation. Signs of hemorrhagic brain lesions were associated with permanent decrease of PCS score (mean difference 7.4 points; 95%CI 0.6-14.0;  = .033), bodily pain (8.7 points; 95%CI 1.6-17.6;  = .018), and social functioning (8.2 points; 95%CI 3.0-17.4;  = .005) six years after discharge. No effect of type of antidote (fomepizole versus ethanol) and extracorporeal enhanced elimination modality (intermittent hemodialysis versus continuous renal replacement therapy) applied in hospital on long-term QoL was found (all  > .05). Acute methanol poisoning was associated with a significant decrease of health-related quality of life of survivors persisting for at least six years after discharge. The more pronounced decrease in QoL scores was observed in the patients with hemorrhagic brain lesions and visual sequelae of poisoning with abnormal RNFL thickness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2019.1702994DOI Listing
September 2020

Alcohol Use in the Czech Republic – Joint Statement of the Society for Addiction Medicine of the J. E. Purkyně Czech Medical Association and the Czech Society of Cardiology

Cent Eur J Public Health 2019 12;27(Suppl):S3-S5

Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostic, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a5972DOI Listing
December 2019

National Addiction-specific Institutional Infrastructure - fundamental prerequisite for successful implementation of specialized academic degree study programmes: a case study in historical perspective.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2019 12;27 Suppl:S83-S91

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objective: Human resources are crucial for addiction treatment and prevention services, as well as for science and research. The aim of this historical case study is to explain and demonstrate the role of specialized university academic degree study programmes in addictions in the context of a national institutional infrastructure. This specific group of very highly specialized academic programmes represents the highest level of professional development and is producing a totally new generation of addiction specialists with a very distinctive professional identity.

Methods: The study protocol is based on a case study research design and the case is defined as the historical development of addiction specialized institutions closely related to self-help, prevention, and treatment activities on the historical territory of the Czech Republic. We identified relevant historical sources related to establishing and/or running activities or institutions according to the categories specified in our concept of the national institutional infrastructure. All the materials and sources that were collected were sorted according to a timeline and categories of institutions and we systematically determined the first recorded activity/institution in each particular category. For this simple sorting system we used open and selected coding according to Grounded Theory.

Results: The public health model developed by Thomas Babor recognizes six different structural mechanisms to support university-based programmes in addiction studies: specialized journals, research centres, professional societies, specialized libraries and documentation centres, training and education programmes and institutions, and funding agencies. We attempted to redefine the concept of addiction studies within the broader context of the addiction field and added three additional mechanisms of support: public interest groups, self-help groups, and service providers. Using a historical case study in the Czech Republic, we demonstrate the potential for a broader context and interaction between these support mechanisms and academic institutions hosting academic programmes in addiction studies.

Conclusion: The process of establishing integrated addiction studies programmes at Charles University in the Czech Republic had its origins in, and support from, various national institutions and professional organizations. This allowed the university to develop academic programmes at the bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. levels. The availability of career opportunities for advanced-level addiction professionals in the Czech Republic was also a critically important factor in developing sustainable academic programmes in addiction studies. Our experience is that the creation of successful and sustainable academic programmes for addiction professionals is difficult to achieve without broad infrastructure support, national advocacy efforts, and legislative change at the national level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a5980DOI Listing
December 2019

Incorporation of Universal Prevention Curriculum into established academic degree study programme: qualitative process evaluation.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2019 12;27 Suppl:S74-S82

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objective: Comprehensive bachelor's, master's, and doctorate-level curricula of Addiction Studies (Addictology) were developed and implemented at Charles University (First Faculty of Medicine) between 2003 and 2012. This Prague model combines three evidence-based approaches to addressing substance use - prevention, treatment, and public health - into a balanced professionalised discipline. Graduates from this programme are licensed by the State Authority as addictology, a regulated profession in the Czech Republic. Professionals with these degrees are recognised as healthcare professionals, can perform directly in the field and can be contracted by health insurance companies. In 2016, it was decided to integrate the Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC) into these programmes of study. The UPC was developed by a group of prevention researchers from the United States. This article describes the technical steps involved when adapting the UPC into an established university degree programme. We describe the requirements needed for successful implementation and reaccreditation. Finally, we examine both barriers and enhancers of the adoption of UPC as a university programme.

Methods: A qualitative process evaluation study was conducted on the activities carried out in 2017-2018, demarcated by a successful university accreditation of the new curricula combining the original Prague model and the UPC curriculum. Field records, observation methods, official documents, curricular documents, syllabuses, content analysis, and thematic analysis were used for this process.

Results: We identified three clusters of issues and challenges during the adaptation and implementation process: technical (developing a new credit scheme, adopting new terminology using local and culture-specific examples, and cancelling, establishing, and/or fusing particular courses, identifying some critical issues for any practical implementation of the UPC); teaching staff-related (team work, involving motivated and qualified staff for moving from a national to an international perspective); and content and contextual (the conflict between different theoretical perspectives such as public health vs. mental health and drug use prevention vs. risk behaviour prevention).

Conclusion: The adaptation of the UPC had a significant impact on study profiles and competencies. Such an implementation necessarily requires a team of staff members with sufficient capacities to be able to coordinate the process, facilitating each step and supervising it. The current adaptation of the UPC involved specific merging procedures to fit in with existing courses and emphasising an international perspective. This process opened a national discussion about the implementation of the UPC in the system of life-long education programmes and training. Beginning in September 2019, when the first group of students will attend this new model of Addictology studies, we will continue our evaluation of the implementation process and the factors that played a role in either hindering or supporting the implementation. The findings from this evaluation will be used to make adjustments to the curriculum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a5952DOI Listing
December 2019

First alcohol treatment institutions in today's Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2019 12;27 Suppl:S55-S65

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objective: Drawing on qualitative analysis of selected historical documents, the paper seeks to provide a definition of the general characteristics of the first institutional alcohol treatment facilities in today's Czech Republic and Slovakia, taking into account the historical context of the first half of the 20th century. An additional aim was to point out the importance of archival research and its contribution to understand the determinants of alcohol-related agenda and alcohol treatment.

Methods: The basic data platform was generated by analysis of historical documents pertaining to the subject matter under study and to institutional processes in different periods. The data was processed using the open coding method (as part of the grounded theory approach) and other specific methods based on the matching of data from scientific and professional literature and archives in different periods. Over 1,100 pages of text from relevant archival materials were analysed. This research is original, no such systematic analysis of historical documents on this subject matter has been conducted on such a scale with the intention of identifying the general correlates of the historical development of an alcohol-related agenda and alcohol treatment.

Results: The establishment of the first institutional facilities intended to provide treatment for alcohol dependency was based on the notion of addiction as a disease, which needs to be treated in dedicated facilities applying an individualised approach. The circumstances of the establishment of the facilities under analysis were similar. Their existence was made possible by distinguished personalities rather than a general belief and social pressure that the issue of alcohol addiction should be addressed. This also explains the fact that the occupancy of these facilities never reached their full capacity, that they were not self-reliant in economic terms, and that they did not readily resume their operation after 1945.

Conclusions: The analysis of the establishment, operation, and dissolution of these facilities at the time reveals the discontinuity in the approach to alcohol abuse and its treatment in the context of the historical development and perception of alcohol-related problems in Czech and Slovak society in the first half of the 20th century. Significant social changes occurred after 1948. New legislative instruments were used to enforce treatment based on a principle that was different from the previous approaches. The results of our study also make it possible to reveal the intensity of apparent individual and institutional motives in the process of the development of alcohol treatment in historical terms and its projection into different post-war periods. The understanding of these correlates will help in designing additional trajectories of research into the effects of social and political changes on addiction treatment and thus identifying the intensity of the historical development and its influence on the perception of addiction treatment at present. These findings will also be of great importance for a historical comparative analysis, including overlaps with the development of recent theories, and will support the emergence of new areas of study for the social sciences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a5812DOI Listing
December 2019

Public health response to methanol mass poisoning in the Czech Republic in 2012: a case study.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2019 12;27 Suppl:S29-S39

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: The study focuses on the 2012 methanol outbreak in the Czech Republic. The main goal of the present study was to apply analytical and descriptive tools to selected qualitative and quantitative processes related to the 2012 methanol outbreak in the Czech Republic. The secondary goal was to study and evaluate in detail their potential for creating integrated conceptual national policies aimed at eliminating the risk of methanol poisoning in the future.

Methods: The presented qualitative analysis focused on the content of documents published by Czech public authorities - the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, and the Regional Public Health Authorities - as well as the content of the relevant legal regulations. Moreover, statistical data concerning the number of hospitalisations and deaths due to the methanol intoxication were used to provide a background to a detailed description of the relevant facts.

Results: In procedural terms, most of the analysed measures focused on a strongly restrictive regulation of sales, regular information channels designed to protect consumers on the national as well as international level, and elimination of further health and economic risks stemming from the dangerous alcoholic products that had already entered distribution networks. The health, social and economic consequences of such activities are quantified at a highly aggregated level. The analysed institutional ties are evaluated also in the context of international documents: the European Action Plan to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol 2012-2020 and the Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol, and their current potential for steering public policies is assessed.

Conclusion: The analysis and evaluation of procedural activities carried out after the methanol outbreak have laid the foundations for a multidimensional study that can contribute to integrated national policy concepts aimed at preventing these and similar negative health, societal and economic consequences. Six years after the methanol outbreak, national and regional health policies have reflected no findings concerning the experience of patients whose health was impaired due to methanol, and the economic cost of the event has not been calculated. The quality of life of these patients has greatly decreased due to permanent or partial incapacity and serious upheavals of their and their families' economic and social conditions. This opens the question of researching and evaluating multiple aspects of health, social and economic impacts of harmful use of alcohol and setting up processes to mitigate these impacts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a5764DOI Listing
December 2019

The impact of co-morbidities on a 6-year survival after methanol mass poisoning outbreak: possible role of metabolic formaldehyde.

Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2020 04 12;58(4):241-253. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Department of Occupational Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

The influence of co-morbid conditions on the outcome of acute methanol poisoning in mass poisoning outbreaks is not known. The objective of this is to study the impact of burden of co-morbidities, complications, and methanol-induced brain lesions on hospital, follow-up, and total mortality. All patients hospitalized with methanol poisoning during a mass poisoning outbreak were followed in a prospective cohort study until death or final follow-up after 6 years. The age-adjusted Charlson co-morbidity index (ACCI) score was calculated for each patient. A multivariate Cox regression model was used to calculate the adjusted hazards ratio (HR) for death. The survival was modeled using the Kaplan-Meier method. Of 108 patients (mean age with SD 50.9 ± 2.6 years), 24 (54.4 ± 5.9 years) died during hospitalization (mean survival with SD 8 ± 4 days) and 84 (49.9 ± 3.0 years;  = .159) were discharged, including 27 with methanol-induced brain lesions. Of the discharged patients, 15 (56.3 ± 6.8 years) died during the follow-up (mean survival 37 ± 11 months) and 69 (48.5 ± 3.3 years;  = .044) survived. The hospital mortality was 22%, the follow-up mortality was 18%; the total mortality was 36%. Cardiac/respiratory arrest, acute respiratory failure, multiorgan failure syndrome, and arterial hypotension increased the HR for hospital and total (but not follow-up) mortality after adjustment for age, sex, and arterial pH (all  < .05). All patients who died in the hospital had at least one complication. A higher ACCI score was associated with greater total mortality (HR 1.22; 1.00-1.48 95% CI;  = .046). Of those who died, 35 (90%) had a moderate-to-high ACCI. The Kaplan-Meier curve demonstrated that patients with a high ACCI had greater follow-up mortality compared to ones with low ( = .027) or moderate ( = .020) scores. For the patients who died during follow-up, cancers of different localizations were responsible for 7/15 (47%) of the deaths. The character and number of complications affected hospital but not follow-up mortality, while the burden of co-morbidities affected follow-up mortality. Methanol-induced brain lesions did not affect follow-up mortality. Relatively high cancer mortality rate may be associated with acute exposure to metabolic formaldehyde produced by methanol oxidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2019.1637525DOI Listing
April 2020

Methanol Poisoning as an Acute Toxicological Basal Ganglia Lesion Model: Evidence from Brain Volumetry and Cognition.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2019 07 28;43(7):1486-1497. Epub 2019 May 28.

Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: Acute methanol poisoning leads to optic neuropathy and necrotic lesions of basal ganglia (BG) and subcortical white matter. Survivors of methanol poisoning exhibit long-term executive and memory deficits. Associations between brain volumetry parameters and cognitive sequelae of methanol poisoning are not known. The aim of our study was to identify long-term associations between the cognitive performance of survivors of methanol poisoning and the volume of the brain structures that are selectively vulnerable to methanol.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional follow-up study on a sample of patients (n = 33, age 50 ± 14 years, 82% males) who survived acute methanol poisoning during methanol mass poisoning outbreak from September 2012 till January 2013 in the Czech Republic. A battery of neuropsychological tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging were included in the clinical examination protocol. Specific brain structures (putamen, globus pallidus, nucleus caudatus, and frontal white matter) were selected as regions of interest, and their volumes were estimated using the MorphoBox prototype software.

Results: In robust multiple regression models, sustained visual attention performance (as assessed by Trail Making Test and Prague Stroop Test) was positively associated with BG structures and frontal white matter volumes (Wald = 9.03 to 85.50, p < 0.01), sensitivity to interference (as assessed by Frontal Battery Assessment) was negatively associated with frontal white matter volume (Wald = 35.44 to 42.25, p < 0.001), and motor performance (as assessed by Finger Tapping Test) was positively associated with globus pallidus and frontal white matter volumes (Wald = 9.66 to 13.29, p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that smaller volumes of elements of BG-thalamocortical circuitry, namely the BG and frontal white matter, relate to attention and motor performance in methanol poisoning from a long-term perspective. Disruption of those functional circuits may underlie specific cognitive deficits observed in methanol poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.14077DOI Listing
July 2019

Ten-Item Internet Gaming Disorder Test (IGDT-10): Measurement invariance and cross-cultural validation across seven language-based samples.

Psychol Addict Behav 2019 Feb 27;33(1):91-103. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Institute of Psychology.

The Ten-Item Internet Gaming Disorder Test (IGDT-10) is a short screening instrument developed to assess Internet gaming disorder (IGD) as proposed in the , fifth edition (), adopting a concise, clear, and consistent item-wording. According to initial studies conducted in 2014, the instrument showed promising psychometric characteristics. The present study tested the psychometric properties, including language and gender invariance, in a large international sample of online gamers. In this study, data were collected from 7,193 participants comprising Hungarian ( = 3,924), Iranian ( = 791), English-speaking ( = 754), French-speaking ( = 421), Norwegian ( = 195), Czech ( = 496), and Peruvian ( = 612) online gamers via gaming-related websites and gaming-related social-networking-site groups. A unidimensional factor structure provided a good fit to the data in all language-based samples. In addition, results indicated both language and gender invariance on the level of scalar invariance. Criterion and construct validity of the IGDT-10 was supported by its strong association with the Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire and moderate association with weekly gaming time, psychopathological symptoms, and impulsivity. The proportions of each sample that met the cut-off score on the IGDT-10 varied between 1.61% and 4.48% in the individual samples, except for the Peruvian sample (13.44%). The IGDT-10 shows robust psychometric properties and appears suitable for conducting cross-cultural and gender comparisons across seven languages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/adb0000433DOI Listing
February 2019

"It can't happen to me": Alcohol drinkers on the 2012 outbreak of methanol poisonings and the subsequent prohibition in the Czech Republic.

Nordisk Alkohol Nark 2017 Oct 26;34(5):385-399. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: In September 2012, a series of methanol poisonings occurred in the Czech Republic as a result of an influx of illicit alcohol into (predominantly) cheap alcoholic beverages on the retail market. The public authorities decided to prevent public health risks by prohibiting sales of liquors that contained more than 20% alcohol (> 20% liquor). The "partial" prohibition lasted for almost two weeks, but the poisonings still continued. This article assesses the impact of the methanol poisoning risks and the (partial) prohibition on alcohol drinking patterns, and describes the understanding of risks and their mitigation in vulnerable groups.

Methods: The rapid assessment and response method (RAR) was used during the (partial) alcohol prohibition. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with respondents recruited for the study in alcohol-intake settings (e.g., bars and restaurants, street alcohol outlets) in six regions. In total, 107 alcohol users were interviewed, mostly with risky drinking patterns (69% scored ≥ 1 on the CAGE scale), and 53 alcohol retailers/staff members serving alcohol.

Results: About one third of the alcohol users in the study (35%) drank > 20% liquors during the prohibition; a higher score on the CAGE scale was associated with a lower probability of drinking > 20% liquors during the period of the prohibition, probably because of the perception of being at high risk of poisoning. There was some increase in drinking liquors with an alcohol content less than 20%. Those who continued drinking > 20% liquors typically did so in the belief that some sources of these were safe.

Conclusions: Public policies aimed at reducing the risk of methanol poisonings in emergency situations should adopt broader measures than those focusing on market control. These measures include increased access to brief interventions, addressing the strategies that alcohol consumers adopt to prevent risk, and, in general, helping consumers make informed choices to prevent further fatalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1455072517733597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450851PMC
October 2017

Gait and Balance Impairment after Acute Methanol Poisoning.

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2018 Jan 6;122(1):176-182. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

Department of Neurology, Charles University, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic.

Neurological sequelae including gait impairment were reported in survivors after methanol intoxication; however, no systematic study has been published so far. We aimed to analyse gait and balance impairment in a group of Czech methanol poisoning survivors. We examined 43 patients (age 46 ± 13 years) 2-8 months after methanol poisoning and 43 healthy controls. Investigations contained a shortened version of Falls Efficacy Scale (FES), clinical tests of gait and balance including Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and gait analysis using GaitRite system, neurological and neuropsychological examination, brain imaging, EMG and tests of alcohol consumption. Nineteen patients admitted balance and gait impairment according to FES. Mild to moderate parkinsonian signs showed seven patients. Patients were slower (8.8 versus 5.7 s, p < 0.001) and performed more steps (11.1 versus 7.9, p < 0.001) in TUG compared with the controls. Gait analysis revealed shorter step length (76.5 versus 88.7 cm, p < 0.001), increased double support phase (18.8 versus 15.5%, p < 0.001) and wider base of support (11.3 versus 9.6 cm, p = 0.006) in patients. Eleven patients had deficit of executive function and performed higher cadence compared to the patients with normal execution (122.7 versus 115.0 step/min., p = 0.025). Lower limb polyneuropathy was verified in nine patients, without relation with gait or balance parameters. Neuroimaging revealed lesions mainly in the basal ganglia. Methanol poisoning survivors presented slower wide-based gait with shortened steps corresponding with frontal gait disorder. Higher stepping cadence associated with executive deficit supported the evidence of frontal lobe dysfunction related to impairment of basal ganglia and connections in frontal cortico-basal ganglia loops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcpt.12853DOI Listing
January 2018

Imaging findings after methanol intoxication (cohort of 46 patients).

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2015 ;36(8):737-44

MR Unit, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: Our goal is to demonstrate the variability of imaging findings, primarily in the MRI, in 46 patients who survived acute methanol poisoning. This cohort of patients is the largest such sample group examined by MRI.

Methods: Patients were examined by means of imaging methods (42 patients by MRI and 4 by CT). All had an identical protocol of MR examination (T2WI, FLAIR, T1WI with or without application of contrast medium and T2WI/FFE, DWI in the transversal plane of the scan, and with focus on the optic nerves in the coronal plane of the scan in T2WI-SPIR).

Results: Imaging methods revealed a positive finding associated with methanol intoxication in 21 patients (46%). These consisted of symmetrical lesions in the putamen--13 patients (28%), haemorrhage--13 cases (28%), deposits in white matter with localization primarily subcortically--4 cases (9%), lesions in the region of the globus pallidus--7 cases (15%) (in 6 cases without combination with the lesions in the putamen), lesions in the brainstem afflicted 6 patients (13%), and lesion in the cerebellum was found in one case. A pathological finding was found only in the patients examined by MRI.

Conclusion: Almost half of the patients who survived acute methanol poisoning had pathological findings by MRI. The most common finding concerned an affliction of the putamen, which is a predilection area. An interesting finding was the relatively frequent occurrence of selective lesion of the globus pallidus, which is more usually associated with other types of intoxication.
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July 2016

Long-term visual damage after acute methanol poisonings: Longitudinal cross-sectional study in 50 patients.

Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2015 Nov 12;53(9):884-92. Epub 2015 Sep 12.

k The Norwegian CBRNe Centre of Medicine, Department of Acute Medicine , Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.

Context: Visual disturbances due to the toxic effect of formic acid in acute methanol poisonings are generally transient. The subjective symptoms of visual toxicity may resolve within few weeks and fundoscopic signs of acute optic neuropathy subside within 1-2 months; therefore, the prevalence of long-term visual sequelae in the population of survivors of poisonings may be underestimated.

Objective: To study the prevalence and character of long-term visual sequelae of acute methanol poisonings based on the data from the Czech mass methanol outbreak in 2012.

Patients And Methods: A total of 50 patients with confirmed methanol poisoning were included in this longitudinal cross-sectional study, median age: 48 (range, 23-73) years. The following tests were performed: optical coherence tomography or OCT with evaluation of the retinal nerve fibers layer (RNFL), visual evoked potentials (VEP), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain, complete ocular examination (visual acuity/field, color vision, contrast sensitivity, and fundus), neurological examinations, and biochemical tests.

Results: Of 50 patients, 7/50 (14%) were discharged with diagnosed visual sequelae and 6/50 (12%) were discharged with both visual and central nervous system sequelae of poisoning. On the follow-up examination, 20/50 (40%) of the patients had long-term visual sequelae, with 8% of blindness. A total of 38% of the patients had abnormal (28% borderline) findings on RNFL, and 40% had abnormal (18% borderline) VEP. Among the patients discharged without detected visual sequelae, 8/37 (22%) had abnormal RNFL and VEP. Patients with visual sequelae had brain lesions more often (70% vs. 27%, p < 0.01). MRI identified optic nerve lesions in 2/20 cases with abnormal VEP only. The groups with and without visual sequelae differed in serum methanol, ethanol, HCO3-, formate, pH, anion gap, and base deficit (all p < 0.01). Visual disturbances on admission and coma were more prevalent in the patients with visual sequelae (p < 0.05). Patients with positive serum ethanol on admission were 93% less likely to have optical axonal damage (OR: 0.07 (95% CI: 0.01-0.8); p < 0.05). No association was found between visual sequelae and type of antidote administered, mode of hemodialysis, or folate substitution. Pre-hospital administration of ethanol seemed beneficial: these patients were 90% less likely to have abnormal RNFL findings (OR: 0.10 (95% CI: 0.02-0.52); p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The long-term visual sequelae were clearly underestimated on discharge, suggesting a significantly higher amount of patients with long-term sequelae than earlier reported. Thorough examinations before discharge and during follow-up will likely uncover a higher morbidity also after methanol poisonings in general.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/15563650.2015.1086488DOI Listing
November 2015

Cannabis use in children with individualized risk profiles: Predicting the effect of universal prevention intervention.

Addict Behav 2015 Nov 11;50:110-6. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Aim: To study the effect of a universal prevention intervention targeting cannabis use in individual children with different risk profiles.

Methods: A school-based randomized controlled prevention trial was conducted over a period of 33 months (n=1874 sixth-graders, baseline mean age 11.82). We used a two-level random intercept logistic model for panel data to predict the probabilities of cannabis use for each child. Specifically, we used eight risk/protective factors to characterize each child and then predicted two probabilities of cannabis use for each child if the child had the intervention or not. Using the two probabilities, we calculated the absolute and relative effect of the intervention for each child. According to the two probabilities, we also divided the sample into a low-risk group (the quarter of the children with the lowest probabilities), a moderate-risk group, and a high-risk group (the quarter of the children with the highest probabilities) and showed the average effect of the intervention on these groups.

Results: The differences between the intervention group and the control group were statistically significant in each risk group. The average predicted probabilities of cannabis use for a child from the low-risk group were 4.3% if the child had the intervention and 6.53% if no intervention was provided. The corresponding probabilities for a child from the moderate-risk group were 10.91% and 15.34% and for a child from the high-risk group 25.51% and 32.61%. School grades, thoughts of hurting oneself, and breaking the rules were the three most important factors distinguishing high-risk and low-risk children.

Conclusions: We predicted the effect of the intervention on individual children, characterized by their risk/protective factors. The predicted absolute effect and relative effect of any intervention for any selected risk/protective profile of a given child may be utilized in both prevention practice and research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.06.013DOI Listing
November 2015

Cannabis use in children with individualized risk profiles: Predicting the effect of universal prevention intervention.

Addict Behav 2015 Nov 11;50:110-6. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Department of Addictology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Aim: To study the effect of a universal prevention intervention targeting cannabis use in individual children with different risk profiles.

Methods: A school-based randomized controlled prevention trial was conducted over a period of 33 months (n=1874 sixth-graders, baseline mean age 11.82). We used a two-level random intercept logistic model for panel data to predict the probabilities of cannabis use for each child. Specifically, we used eight risk/protective factors to characterize each child and then predicted two probabilities of cannabis use for each child if the child had the intervention or not. Using the two probabilities, we calculated the absolute and relative effect of the intervention for each child. According to the two probabilities, we also divided the sample into a low-risk group (the quarter of the children with the lowest probabilities), a moderate-risk group, and a high-risk group (the quarter of the children with the highest probabilities) and showed the average effect of the intervention on these groups.

Results: The differences between the intervention group and the control group were statistically significant in each risk group. The average predicted probabilities of cannabis use for a child from the low-risk group were 4.3% if the child had the intervention and 6.53% if no intervention was provided. The corresponding probabilities for a child from the moderate-risk group were 10.91% and 15.34% and for a child from the high-risk group 25.51% and 32.61%. School grades, thoughts of hurting oneself, and breaking the rules were the three most important factors distinguishing high-risk and low-risk children.

Conclusions: We predicted the effect of the intervention on individual children, characterized by their risk/protective factors. The predicted absolute effect and relative effect of any intervention for any selected risk/protective profile of a given child may be utilized in both prevention practice and research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.06.013DOI Listing
November 2015

Czech mass methanol outbreak 2012: epidemiology, challenges and clinical features.

Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2014 Dec 25;52(10):1013-24. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Department of Occupational Medicine,Toxicological Information Center, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital , Prague , Czech Republic.

Objectives: Methanol poisonings occur frequently globally, but reports of larger outbreaks where complete clinical and laboratory data are reported remain scarce. The objective of the present study was to report the data from the mass methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic in 2012 addressing the general epidemiology, treatment, and outcomes, and to present a protocol for the use of fomepizole ensuring that the antidote was provided to the most severely poisoned patients in the critical phase.

Methods: A combined prospective and retrospective case series study of 121 patients with confirmed methanol poisoning.

Results: From a total of 121 intoxicated subjects, 20 died outside the hospital and 101 were hospitalized. Among them, 60 survived without, and 20 with visual/CNS sequelae, whereas 21 patients died. The total and hospital mortality rates were 34% and 21%, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis found pH < 7.0 (OR 0.04 (0.01-0.16), p < 0.001), negative serum ethanol (OR 0.08 (0.02-0.37), p < 0.001), and coma on admission (OR 29.4 (10.2-84.6), p < 0.001) to be the only independent parameters predicting death. Continuous hemodialysis was used more often than intermittent hemodialysis, but there was no significant difference in mortality rate between the two [29% (n = 45) vs 17% (n = 30), p = 0.23]. Due to limited stockpiles of fomepizole, ethanol was administered more often; no difference in mortality rate was found between the two [16% (n = 70) vs. 24% (n = 21), p = 0.39]. The effect of folate administration both on the mortality rate and on the probability of visual sequelae was not significant (both p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Severity of metabolic acidosis, state of consciousness, and serum ethanol on admission were the only significant parameters associated with mortality. The type of dialysis or antidote did not appear to affect mortality. Recommendations that were issued for hospital triage of fomepizole administration allowed conservation of valuable antidote in this massive poisoning outbreak for those patients most in need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/15563650.2014.974106DOI Listing
December 2014

Rare alleles within the CYP2E1 (MEOS system) could be associated with better short-term health outcome after acute methanol poisoning.

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2015 Feb 19;116(2):168-72. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Centre for Experimental Medicine, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic.

Genetic polymorphisms influence the metabolism of ethanol and methanol, but the potential effects of genetic predisposition on the clinical course, outcome and short-term health sequelae of acute methanol poisoning are unknown. To evaluate the role of the MEOS system in methanol poisoning, we analysed the effect of three polymorphisms (RsaI - rs2031920; PstI - rs3813867; insertion/deletion I/D) within the CYP2E1 enzyme (MEOS system) in 50 adult survivors of methanol poisoning and compared their genotype frequencies with 460 controls. The minor allele frequencies of all three polymorphisms were below 5% in both groups. We did not detect significant differences in the genotype frequencies between survivors of methanol poisoning and controls (p = 0.34 for the RsaI variant; p = 0.59 for the PstI variant and p = 0.21 for the I/D polymorphism). The carriers of at least one minor allele in the CYP2E1 gene had less severe clinical symptoms and better short-term outcome after acute poisoning. Variants within the CYP2E1 gene are likely not significant genetic determinants of acute methanol poisoning (if survivors are analysed), but they may influence the severity of methanol poisoning and its visual/central nervous system (CNS) outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcpt.12310DOI Listing
February 2015

Universality properties of school-based preventive intervention targeted at cannabis use.

Prev Sci 2015 Feb;16(2):189-99

First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Addictology, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Apolinarska 4, 120 00, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

This study aims to examine the effect of school-based preventive intervention on cannabis use in Czech adolescents with different levels of risk factors and provide evidence of its universality. A randomized controlled prevention trial with six waves was conducted over a period of 33 months. We used a two-level logistic random-intercept model for panel data; we first looked at the statistical significance of the effect of the intervention on cannabis use, controlling for the characteristics of the children and time dummies. Then we analyzed the effects of the interactions between the intervention and the characteristics of the children on cannabis use and related it to the definition of universal preventive interventions. The setting for the study was in basic schools in the Czech Republic in the years 2007-2010. A total of 1,874 sixth-graders (mean age 11.82 years) who completed the baseline testing. According to our results, the prevention intervention was effective. We found all the selected characteristics of the children to be relevant in relation to cannabis use, except their relationships with their friends. We showed empirically that the intervention is universal in two dimensions for the selected characteristics of the children. First, all adolescents who undergo the intervention are expected to benefit. Second, with respect to the effect of the intervention on cannabis use, the total level of individual risk of cannabis use is superior to the composition of the risk factors in the individual risk profile. We present indicative evidence that the drug prevention intervention may be considered a true universal preventive intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11121-013-0453-zDOI Listing
February 2015

An evidence-based approach in school prevention means an everyday fight: a case study of the Czech Republic's experience with national quality standards and a national certification system.

Authors:
Michal Miovsky

Adicciones 2013 ;25(3):203-7

The Czech Republic has reached the end of a 15-year-long period of the development of a nationwide preventive system in schools. Reflection on this development can offer an interesting case study that demonstrates the general difficulties involved in creating a national prevention policy and implementing the principles of an evidence-based approach. Through its historical context the up-to-date outputs of the latest projects are presented as “key documents” (quality standards, textbook, explanatory dictionary, examples of good practice etc.) and a national system of assessment of quality called a certification procedure, which has a practical impact on the grant system of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. This context is also used to show how certain European networks (EUSPR, IREFREA, etc.) can be very helpful in generalizing this idea across Europe. All the examples of activities on the national or international level seem to be promising and supportive of the increasingly noticeable trend of using research evidence in real practice and making the whole field more attractive for students and young researchers.
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July 2014

[Sobering-up stations in the Czech Republic in the context of analogous models of care for acute intoxications in Europe].

Cas Lek Cesk 2013 ;152(3):129-34

Narodni monitorovaci stredisko pro drogy a drogove zavislosti, Praha.

Background: To map systems of care for persons with acute intoxications with alcohol and other drugs in European countries, to identify various models of this care and to contribute to discussion on the reform of sobering-up stations in the Czech Republic.

Methods: In 2012, a questionnaire survey was performed among national institutions which are focal points to European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction. All 27 EU member states, Norway, Croatia and Turkey were addressed, altogether 30 countries. Questionnaire consisted of 4 open questions.

Results: 16 countries responded. Specific system of supervised recovery, which is close to the system of sobering-up stations in the Czech Republic, exists in 5 countries, i.e. approximately one third of participating countries. In remaining 11 countries, a care of boozers and persons intoxicated with other drugs is provided within acute or intensive medical care or in case of public nuisance by police. Model of sobering-up stations existed in past in countries of the Soviet bloc. Aside from the Czech Republic, sobering-up stations have remained in Poland, where the functions of the service as well as status and rights of clients were reformed. The change has an impact on the increase of prestige of the service and sobering-up stations are regarded as the essential element of medical care for the intoxicated persons. Special sobering-up services can play in different countries similar functions: supervised recovery and care for intoxicated persons, prevention of health harms and injuries, counselling and motivation of clients to reduce the drug consumption and to start treatment, facilitating further special addiction care and prevention of public nuisance and damages to other persons and properties.

Conclusions: Special system of care of boozers and persons acutely intoxicated with other drugs exists in several European countries with number of useful public health and public order functions. It diverts uncomplicated intoxications from intensive medical care or police intervention, which is efficient also in economical terms. The reform of the system of sobering-up stations in the Czech Republic should take into account its role within the system of addiction prevention and treatment, status and rights of clients and issues of financing and payments for the service.
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October 2015

The effect of the school-based unplugged preventive intervention on tobacco use in the Czech Republic.

Adicciones 2012 ;24(3):211-7

Charles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Addictology of First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital.

Unplugged is a school prevention programme widely implemtend in Europe, with some positive evaluations. This research aims to measure the impact of this program on tobacco use by means of the lifetime and last-30-day tobacco use prevalence indicators and verify the duration of the intervention's measurable effect over time. The study was designed as a randomised controlled prevention trial. The intervention is based on the Comprehensive Social Influence model and consists of 12 lessons delivered to Czech adolescents in the 2007-2008 academic year. The prevalence indicators were calculated to assess the differences between the experimental (N = 914) and control (N = 839) groups on each outcome 1, 3, 12, 15, and 24 months after the end of the intervention. Data were collected using the 2003 version of the ESPAD questionnaire. As regards the 30-day smoking prevalence indicator, the tests performed after the completion of the intervention showed statistically significant differences between both groups in favour of the experimental one. Two years after the completion of the intervention the experimental and control groups showed 30-day prevalence rates of 26.7% and 33.1%, respectively (p = .01). The progression of smoking in the 30-day prevalence among the experimental group was significantly slower than that among the control group over the period of time. The differences in the lifetime prevalence rates were not statistically significant. The implementation of Unplugged resulted in a statistically significant measurable positive effect on tobacco use in Czech adolescents.
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December 2012

Sex specific trajectories in cigarette smoking behaviors among students participating in the unplugged school-based randomized control trial for substance use prevention.

Addict Behav 2012 Oct 6;37(10):1145-50. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Department of Addictology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University Prague, Apolinarska 4, 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic.

Objectives: Understanding the developmental pathways and sex differences in cigarette smoking behaviors in adolescents has the potential to positively impact substance abuse prevention and to reduce smoking-related health problems. Using data from the Unplugged school-based prevention trial, we investigated different patterns of smoking behavior development among secondary school students in the Czech Republic.

Methods: Growth mixture modeling was used to examine different trajectories in cigarette smoking behaviors among male and female students (N=1874 6th graders; 50.4% male, mean age 11.8 years at baseline) participating in the Unplugged school-based randomized control trial for substance use prevention.

Results: A two-class model characterized cigarette use as a function of sex and Unplugged intervention status. More rapid cigarette use increases were observed in females (OR=1.17, p=0.01 in both rapid/moderate and slow smoking escalator classes) as compared to males. Further, in both classes, more rapid increases in smoking were observed for the control group as compared to the intervention group (OR=1.22, p<0.01 slow escalators; OR=1.54, p=0.08 rapid/moderate escalators). There was no difference in sex distribution when comparing the two classes (OR=1.02, p=0.98).

Conclusions: This study adds to a growing literature on developmental and sex differences in cigarette use among adolescents. This research supports additional multi-year prevention strategies aimed at adolescent females and early treatment programs for adolescent smokers to prevent increasing cigarette use with age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.05.023DOI Listing
October 2012

"Unplugged": a school-based randomized control trial to prevent and reduce adolescent substance use in the Czech Republic.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2012 Jul 21;124(1-2):79-87. Epub 2012 Jan 21.

Center for Addictology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University Prague, Ke Karlovu 11, 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic.

Background: The Czech Unplugged Study, inspired by the European Drug Addiction Prevention Trial, is a prospective, school-based, randomized controlled prevention trial designed to reduce the risk of alcohol, tobacco, inhalant, and illegal drug use in 6th graders in the Czech Republic. The intervention uses the comprehensive social influence model to affect alcohol and drug using norms among primary school students.

Methods: Descriptive statistics and chi-square analyses were used to assess differences between the experimental and control groups on demographic characteristics and study outcomes. Multilevel techniques were used to take the hierarchical structure of the data into account. Prevalence odds ratios using the Bonferroni correction were calculated to assess the differences between the experimental (N = 914) and control (N = 839) groups on each outcome 1, 3, 12, 15, and 24 months after the end of the intervention.

Results: Multilevel analysis using the Bonferroni correction showed statistically significant intervention effects at the final follow-up for any smoking (OR = 0.75, 99.2% CI 0.65-0.87), daily smoking (OR = 0.62, 99.2% CI 0.48-0.79), heavy smoking (OR = 0.48, 99.2% CI 0.28-0.81), any cannabis use (OR = 0.57 99.2% CI 0.42-0.77), frequent cannabis use (OR = 0.57, 99.2% CI 0.36-0.89), and any drug use (OR = 0.78, 99.2% CI 0.65-0.94).

Conclusions: This study adds new evidence on the effectiveness of the Unplugged school-based prevention program for primary school students in the Czech Republic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.12.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039228PMC
July 2012

The picture of mental health/illness in the printed media in three Central European countries.

J Health Commun 2012 27;17(1):22-40. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Charles University in Prague, Ke Karlovu 11, 128 00, Prague, Czech Republic.

Even in the era of the Internet, printed media are still among the most frequently identified sources of mental health information. Many studies have shown that this information is frequently negative and contributes to stigmatization of people with mental illness. This international comparative study describes the content of media messages about mental health/illness in terms of stigma in three Central European countries. The study sample comprised all articles pertaining to the topic of mental health/illness (N = 450) identified during five week-long periods in 2007 chosen from the six most widely read newspapers and magazines in each country. The authors used content analysis methods to achieve quantitative and qualitative objectives. More than half of all articles contained negative statements reflecting stigma toward persons with mental illness. Substance abuse disorders are the most frequent mental conditions covered in all three countries (22%), and psychotic disorders are the most stigmatized. Countries significantly differ in length of articles, in the association of aggressive behavior with persons with mental illness, and in the use of a sensationalized style of writing. Coverage of mental health/illness issues differs to some extent across countries but is generally of poor quality. On the basis of the authors' findings, practical recommendations for journalists can be tailored specifically for each country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2011.571341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314842PMC
March 2012

Chronic toluene misuse among Roma youth in Eastern Slovakia.

Subst Use Misuse 2011 ;46 Suppl 1:57-61

National Development and Research Institutes, New York, USA.

This report presents pilot data on toluene misuse among Roma (Gypsy) youth in eastern Slovakia. Twenty interviews were conducted with field social workers (FSWs) working in seven Roma settlements with a combined population of 17,050 people. An estimated 340 chronic toluene users, mostly males (90%, n = 306), were identified in the researched communities. FSWs reported that children younger than 10 years of age represented about 15% of users (n = 52) and that the majority of users (75%, n = 255) were between 10 and 25 years of age. Consequences of prolonged use on individuals and communities are discussed. The study's limitations are noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2011.580213DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5826661PMC
August 2011

Why do the clients of Georgian needle exchange programmes inject buprenorphine?

Eur Addict Res 2010 2;16(1):1-8. Epub 2009 Nov 2.

Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic.

Aim: The aim of the study was to understand the prevalence and patterns of the non-medical injecting use of buprenorphine among drug injectors in Georgia.

Method: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among injecting drug users enrolled in Georgian needle exchange programmes. The questions covered topics related to drug use career, patterns (frequency, history, dosage) and reasons for the use of buprenorphine.

Results: Pharmaceutical buprenorphine in the form of Subutex was the most commonly injected drug in terms of lifetime (95.5%) and last-month (75%) prevalence of use. 48% of those study participants who had injected Subutex at some point reported having used it to cope with withdrawal or to give up other opioids. 90.5% of Subutex injectors used 1-2 mg as a single dose, and the mean frequency of its injection was 6 times per month. 75% of Subutex injectors had used 3 or more types of illegal drugs during the last 30 days.

Conclusion: While widely misused by Georgian drug injectors, Subutex is neither the principal nor the favourite drug, and it is rather used as self-treatment. The authors consider the introduction of buprenorphine maintenance treatment to be a promising effective measure to decrease its non-medical and illegal use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000253858DOI Listing
August 2010
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