Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist September 2012 Contents Australian Pharmacist September 2012 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
London 2 – 9 May 2013
Excellence in education
PSA Offshore Refresher
students of pharmacy to come to a closer
relationship with Newcastle and the Hunter
region, build a closer team relationship
with their mates and also establish social
links with pharmacists, both hospital
In a day filled with activities, this inaugural
event at the Hunter Wetlands in late July
began with an address by PSA President
Grant Kardachi, before the 60 students
broke up into smaller groups of eight to
10 to be addressed by pharmacists and
have the opportunity for good dialogue
‘It was a complex operation but it all
worked, and worked well,’ he said.
‘One feature was that they went in groups
to Nature Walks with a local GP, Dr Paddy
Lightfoot OAM, who explained all about
plants to them and added his passionate
history of plants and animals that reside in
‘ They also went on an orienteering
challenge to identify and find local items.
This tested their team skills and their
‘ There was another segment in the
Wetlands where they spent 45 minutes with
the Bush Tucker Man who showed them
what was safe to eat and what not, how to
survive in the bush, and finally how to make
damper and billy tea. These are all simple
little Aussie skills that many ‘city slickers’
never encounter nowadays.
‘ Then Trent Twomey, President of the
Australian College of Pharmacy, gave an
enthusiastic presentation of skills that
students need to develop to get a job and
prosper in their profession.
‘He left no doubt that the responsibility
rests firmly on their shoulders and
yet he gave several positive hints to
Trent had kindly flown down from Cairns to
address the students.
Majella Hill, a Professional Officer at the
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation
Agency (AHPRA), spoke twice over lunch
and also addressed everyone during the
dinner. Majella gave good practical advice
that students needed to understand
AHPRA and the approach to best help them
succeed in their written and oral exams
during their internship.
Depression a global problem
Depression and anxiety are found in every
society in the world – not just Westerners
These new findings come from the world’s
most comprehensive study of anxiety and
depression research to date, published by
researchers at The University of Queensland.
In two separate studies of anxiety disorders
and major depressive disorder (clinical
depression), study authors found that
surveys of clinical anxiety and depression
have been conducted across 91 countries,
involving more than 480,000 people. They
show that clinical anxiety and depression
are serious health issues all around
Anxiety disorders were more commonly
reported in Western societies than in
non-western societies, even those that are
currently experiencing conflict.
Clinical anxiety affected around 10% of
people in North America, Western Europe
and Australia/New Zealand compared to
about 8% in the Middle East and 6% in Asia.
The opposite was true for depression, with
people in Western countries least likely to
be depressed. Depression was found to
be lowest in North America and highest in
some parts of Asia and the Middle East.
About 9% of people have major depression
in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, such
as India and Afghanistan, compared with
about 4% in North and South America,
Australia, New Zealand and East Asian
countries including China, Thailand
Alize Ferrari, lead author on the depression
study, said findings suggested that
depression appeared to be higher in parts
of the world where conflict is occurring.
However, she warned that it can be difficult
to obtain good quality data from some low
and middle income countries.
‘More investigation of the methods we
use to diagnose depression and measure
its prevalence in non-Western countries
is required, as well as more research on
how depression occurs across the lifespan,’
Lead author of the anxiety study, Amanda
Baxter, also urged caution when comparing
mental disorders across different countries.
‘Measuring mental disorders across
different cultures is challenging because
many factors can influence the reported
prevalence of anxiety disorders. More
research is also needed to ensure that the
criteria we are currently using to diagnose
anxiety are suitable for people across
Both major depression and anxiety are
found more commonly in women than
The study also found that, while clinical
depression is common throughout the
lifespan, anxiety becomes less common in
men and women over the age of 55.
About one in 21 people (4.7%) of people
will have major depression at any point in
time. Anxiety – the most common of all
mental disorders – currently affects about
one in 13 people (7.3%).
The studies are the world’s most
comprehensive reviews of research on
major depression and anxiety. They are
published as part of the Global Burden of
Disease (GBD) Study to be released later this
year. The GBD Study will include estimates
for 220 diseases including 11 mental
Full paper details
• Baxter AJ, Scott KM, Vos T, et al. Global prevalence of
anxiety disorders: a systematic review and meta-regression.
Psychological Medicine. doi:10.1017/S003329171200147X.
• Ferrari AJ, Somerville AJ, Baxter AJ, et al. Global variation in
the prevalence and incidence of major depressive disorder:
a systematic review of the epidemiological literature.
Psychological Medicine. doi:10.1017/S0033291712001511.
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