Released: April 1st, 2014
This study was undertaken in 2001 by Tongans researchers. It highlighted the numerous obstacles associated with the planning, funding and delivery of a high quality study by Pasifikans for Pasifikans in New Zealand. The aims of the study were to determine the level of psychological distress, hazardous alcohol usage and pathological gambling among Tongans using an ethnic- specific primary care service in Onehunga, Auckland. Participants (n=507) were opportunistically recruited at Langimalie Clinic and given a self-administered questionnaire in Tonga containing the GHQ-12, WHO AUDIT, and South Oaks Gambling Screen and migration related factors. 15% of young males pathological gamblers had above threshold scores (recommendation of 4+ on GHQ-12), with statistically significant levels of psychological distress. 20.6% of males and 4.6% of females used alcohol in a hazardous fashion (identified as a score of >8 on the AUDIT) and overall 8% of the sample were identified as being pathological gamblers (identified as a score of > 5 on the South Oaks Gambling Screen). Tongan migrants have far less psychological morbidity compared with the majority of other migrant populations in Australasia. Hazardous alcohol use and pathological gambling are serious concerns and require urgent attention not only at a Primary Care site but in the wider Tongan community as well.