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Title: An exploration of the nature and prevalence of substance use in a forensic population and an evaluation of its role in recall to hospital
Author: Akram, Hina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8423
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Part one of this major research project is a systematic review of the research into the psychological effects of synthetic cannabinoid (SC) use. This relatively new phenomenon continues to be a problem in specific populations despite attempts by the UK government to control distribution of SCs. The review highlights the paucity of rigorous, controlled research, whilst summarising the findings from an experimental study, cross-sectional research, internet surveys and qualitative interviews. There is evidence of an association between acute and prolonged SC use and a broad spectrum of psychological effects, including higher scores on anxiety and depression measures and impaired cognitive inhibition and long-term memory. Suggestions for future research are discussed. Part two is an empirical paper describing a study assessing the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use in a forensic population. It also examines the role of alcohol, cannabis, SC and crack in recall to hospital following conditional discharge. Substance use was assessed retrospectively across four time points in a group of patients who had been formally recalled to hospital and in a group who remained on conditional discharge. The results suggest both alcohol and cannabis use may be important factors for outcomes following conditional discharge. The findings are discussed as well as the strengths and limitations of the study. Part three is a reflection and critical appraisal on the undertaking of the major research project. It addresses some of the challenges that arose during the research process in the designing of measures, acquiring ethical approval and recruitment. It ends with a discussion of power, beyond statistics, in the research process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available