Introduction and Aims: Khat (Catha edulis) is a stimulant plant widely used in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Tobacco is often co-used with khat and its use has expanded to other parts of the world. Chronic khat use is associated with negative health consequences. There is a lack of research to develop a tool to assess attitudes toward khat use. This study aimed to develop a brief tool to assess attitude and perception related to khat (i.e. the Khat Knowledge, Attitudes and Perception Scale). Design and Methods: Four-hundred and three participants in Yemen (151 concurrent users of khat and tobacco, 141 khat-only users and 92 non-users of khat and tobacco) were asked about knowledge and attitudes related to khat. A principle component analysis with Promax rotation, Scree-plot and Cronbach's α coefficients was performed to examine psychometric properties of the Khat Knowledge, Attitudes and Perception Scale. Results: Principle component analysis revealed five factors: negative beliefs, positive beliefs, idleness, weight control and family issues. Internal consistency of items in negative beliefs, positive beliefs, idleness, weight control and family issues were 0.88, 0.62, 0.62, 0.72 and 0.53, respectively. Greater negative beliefs was inversely correlated with positive beliefs but positively associated with idleness, weight control and family issues. Concurrent users and khat-only users had lower scores on negative beliefs than non-users. Concurrent users had higher scores on positive beliefs than khat-only and non-users. Discussion and Conclusions: These results provide initial support of the usefulness of the Khat Knowledge, Attitudes and Perception Scale.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Fogarty International Center (R03 TW007219) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R21 DA024626) awarded to the last author. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH. The authors thank Drs Anisa Dokam and Mohammed Alsoofi for their assistance in coordinating logistics of the study. We would like to thank Briana DeAngelis for providing help with analyzing statistical analysis using Mplus. The authors declare no conflict of interest in this study.