Original Research

Prevalence and severity of anxiety symptoms among family members of nyaope users in Tshwane, South Africa

Kebogile E. Mokwena, Maphuti C. Madiga
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 28 | a2083 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2083 | © 2023 Kebogile E. Mokwena, Maphuti C. Madiga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 June 2022 | Published: 29 September 2023

About the author(s)

Kebogile E. Mokwena, Department of Public Health, School of Healthcare Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Maphuti C. Madiga, Department of Public Health, School of Healthcare Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Nyaope is a strongly addictive novel psychoactive substance that is commonly used in predominantly black townships in South Africa. The undesired behaviours of the users result in family members developing mental health challenges. Nyaope users often commit petty crimes, including stealing from families and neighbours.

Aim: The aim of this study was to quantify anxiety symptoms among family members of nyaope users in Tshwane, South Africa.

Setting: Data were collected from nine townships within Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.

Methods: The quantitative cross-sectional survey used the General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) tool to quantify anxiety symptoms, and a questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic data from a sample of 390 participants.

Results: The ages of the participants ranged from 18 years to 87 years, with a mean of 47 years. The mothers to the nyaope users were the biggest group at 35% (n = 138). The prevalence of anxiety symptoms was 73% (n = 286) of the total sample and ranged from mild (41.8, n = 163), moderate (14.62, n = 57) and severe (16.92%, n = 66). The Pearson chi-square test identified significant associations between anxiety symptoms and the gender of the participant (p = 0.001), the age of the nyaope user and the period of nyaope use (p = 0.008). Multivariate regression model indicated gender and place of residence as a significant variable in the development of anxiety symptoms (p = 0.01).

Conclusion: Nyaope use is a risk factor for the development of anxiety for family members of nyaope users with the highest proportion reporting mild symptoms.

Contribution: There is a need to develop interventions for mental health support for families of nyaope users.


Keywords

General Anxiety Disorder; mental health; family members; nyaope; Tshwane; South Africa

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