The characteristics and patterns of utilization of healthcare services among Omanis with substance use disorders attending therapy for cessation

Nabila Al Wahaibi, Anwaar Al Lawati, Falaah Al Ruqeishy, Abdulla Al Khatri, Yahya Al-Farsi, Tahira M.A. Juma, Fatma Al Hinai, Nasser Al-Sibani, Sangeetha Mahadevan, Samir Al-Adawi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background It is indicated that Oman is witnessing an increase in issues pertinent to alcohol and psychoactive substance use. Aim The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics of Omanis with substance use disorder attending a specialized hospital in Oman and the pattern of their utilization of healthcare services. A related aim was to ascertain the age group most vulnerable to alcohol and substance use in Oman. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary care center specialized for treatment of those engaging in substance use in Oman. The participants in the study were selected from a convenience sample among patients seeking consultation at the center for alcohol and substance use. A six-part questionnaire was designed to obtain information regarding socio-demographic background, clinical history, healthcare utilization and perceived hurdles to access. Chi-square analyses were used to evaluate the significance of differences among categorical data. Logistic regression modelling was used to obtain measures of association after adjusting for confounding factors. Results Among the patients (n = 293) seeking cessation therapy, 99% were male and less than 30 years of age. Peer influences on the initiation of substance use were significant. Most patients had a history of polysubstance use, including intravenous substance use. Cannabis and alcohol were the first substances consumed by most patients and Hepatitis C and psychiatric disorders were found to be the most common co-morbidities. The participants that reported use of cannabis and benzodiazepines were more likely to perceive “improvement” upon receiving treatment. Conclusion This study indicated that males below 30 years of age with a history of polysubstance use were likely to attend a hospital specialized in treating substance use disorder in Oman. This study identified information regarding socio-demographic background, risk factors and perceived hurdles to healthcare that could serve as groundwork for further studies conducted on newly emerging issues of substance use in Oman.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0210532
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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