alexa Abstract | Factors Associated with Khat Chewing among High School Students in Jimma Town Southwest Ethiopia
ISSN: 2378-5756

Journal of Psychiatry
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Background: Khat is a large green shrub grown in Eastern to Southern Africa and extends to Arabian Peninsula. Khat has its own impact on mental and physical health of the chewers. Studies revealed that khat chewing was associated with frequent absenteeism from class and poor academic performance among students. Although khat has harmful consequences, little is known about factors associated with khat chewing among high school students in Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study design was conducted on 296 high school students in Jimma city using a structured questionnaire. Khat and risky sexual behavior were assessed using the questionnaire. A structured self-reported questionnaire (SRQ-20) which was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) was used to assess mental distress. The questionnaire was translated into local language was used to assess khat chewing pattern. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine associations between independent variables and khat chewing. Variables with p-value of less than 0.05 in multivariate logistic regression were declared to have statistically significant association with the outcome variable.
The life time prevalence of khat chewing among Jimma city high school students was nearly 16%. The current prevalence of khat chewing among these students was 14.2%. Out of this, 71.4% and 28.6% of them were male and females respectively. Out of the students who had mental distress, 22.2% of them were khat chewers. Being in an age group between 19-23 years ((AOR 4.42, 95% CI=1.25, 15.67), being male (AOR 3.76, 95% CI=1.57, 9.02), having suicidal ideation (AOR 3.65, 95% CI=1.3-10.20) and having ever had a sexual contact (AOR, 13.42, 95% CI=2.76-65.16) were positively associated with khat chewing.
In this study there was high prevalence of khat chewing which was associated with risky sexual behavior and suicidal ideation that needs necessary action to tackle the problems.

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Author(s): Emishaw Dires, Matiwos Soboka, Habtamu Kerebih and Garumma Tolu Feyissa

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