alexa Validity and reliability of a Severity of Dependence Scale for khat (SDS-khat).
Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Epidemiology: Open Access

Author(s): Kassim S, Sharif Islam, Ray Croucher

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AIMS OF THE STUDY: (1) To assess psychological khat dependence and (2) to assess the validity and reliability of the Severity Dependence Scale (Gossop et al., 1995) amended for khat use (SDS-khat), in a sample of UK-resident male adult Yemeni khat chewers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a face to face structured interview schedule was conducted amongst purposively sampled UK-resident adult Yemeni male khat chewers, aged 18 years and above, selected during random visits to places of khat sale. A factor analysis with principal components extraction was conducted to explore the construct validity of the proposed SDS-khat. Reliability of the proposed scale was assessed using test-retest and internal reliability tests. The concurrent validity of the proposed SDS-khat was assessed in relation to individual measures and a composite index of khat chewing behaviours using univariate analyses. RESULTS: Two hundred and four Yemeni male adult khat chewers were interviewed. The mean score of the proposed SDS-khat was 5.52 (SD ±4.03). Forty nine percent of respondents (95% CI=43-55%) with ≤5 scores were more likely not psychologically dependent. A single factor, uni-dimensional solution identifying the five items making up the scale accounted for 52.33% of variance. The internal reliability was good (Cronbach's alpha coefficient=0.76) and the test retest intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was 0.93 (95% CI=0.80-0.97). Many individual aspects of the khat chewing were significantly related to the scale. Assessment of the proposed SDS-khat's concurrent validity with individual items of khat chewing identified several significant relationships (p≤0.05) whilst the composite index of khat behaviour also identified a significant relationship (OR=14.40, 95% CI=6.71-30.89). The proposed SDS-khat also correlated with self-reported reasons for khat chewing (p≤0.001, OR=3.54; 95% CI=1.80-6.96). CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of Yemeni khat chewers the SDS-khat is recommended as a valid and reliable research tool for measuring psychological dependence upon khat. Further validation in other samples is indicated.

This article was published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access

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