eCite Digital Repository

Using the Severity of Dependence Scale to screen for DSM-5 khat use disorder


Duresso, SW and Matthews, AJ and Ferguson, SG and Bruno, R, Using the Severity of Dependence Scale to screen for DSM-5 khat use disorder, Human Psychopharmacology, 33, (2) Article e2653. ISSN 0885-6222 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1002/hup.2653


Objective: This study aimed to determine the efficacy of the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS) as a screening tool for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition‐defined khat use disorder.

Methods: Cross‐sectional, purposive sample of past‐year khat consumers aged 16 and above were recruited from khat markets and cafes from university and general community in Adama, Ethiopia. Participants self‐completed a survey comprising current substance use disorder.

Results: The SDS formed a unifactorial structure, consistent with the dependence construct. Almost three quarters (73%) of the sample were identified as experiencing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition khat use disorder. The SDS demonstrated excellent discrimination (area under the curve = 0.92) and an optimal cut‐off as a score of 3 or greater, with sensitivity of 81% and specificity of 96%. This classification validly identified a group with more frequent and higher dose khat use than participants that did not screen positive.

Conclusion: Although khat is a mild stimulant, there is clear evidence that some consumers are both concerned with their use and experience problems associated with their use. Consistent with its application for other drugs, the SDS is a brief and simple screening tool that appears to validly identify individuals experiencing a khat use disorder syndrome and experiencing high rates of adverse consequences in association with use.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:khat, dependence, screening, drug overdose, drug use disorders, substance abuse
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Preventative health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Duresso, SW (Mr Samson Duresso)
UTAS Author:Matthews, AJ (Dr Allison Matthews)
UTAS Author:Ferguson, SG (Professor Stuart Ferguson)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:124811
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2018-03-13
Last Modified:2018-12-11

Repository Staff Only: item control page