Social inequalities and the common mental disorders - A systematic review of the evidence
ABSTRACT Of two large-scale government-commissioned studies of common mental disorders in the UK, one found occupational social class to be the strongest marker of risk while the other showed no clear relationship. This study reviews the published evidence on the links between conventional markers of social position and the common mental disorders in developed countries.
Inclusion criteria covered general population based studies with broad social class variation; samples of 3,000 or more adults of working age; identification of mental illness by validated instruments; social position identified by explicit standard markers; fieldwork undertaken since 1980; published output on key areas of interest. Incompatible study methods and concepts made statistical pooling of results invalid.
Of nine studies, eight provide evidence of an association between one or more markers of less privileged social position and higher prevalence of common mental disorders. For some individual indicators in particular studies, no clear trend was evident, but no study showed a contrary trend for any indicator. The more consistent associations were with unemployment, less education and low income or material standard of living. Occupational social class was the least consistent marker.
Common mental disorders are significantly more frequent in socially disadvantaged populations. More precise indicators of education, employment and material circumstances are better markers of increased rates than occupational social class.
Social Indicators Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11205-015-0865-1 · 1.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Public mental health deals with mental health promotion, prevention of mental disorders and suicide, reducing mental health inequalities, and governance and organization of mental health service provision. The full impact of mental health is largely unrecognized within the public health sphere, despite the increasing burden of disease attributable to mental and behavioral disorders. Modern public mental health policies aim at improving psychosocial health by addressing determinants of mental health in all public policy areas. Stigmatization of mental disorders is a widespread phenomenon that constitutes a barrier for help-seeking and for the development of health care services, and is thus a core issue in public mental health actions. Lately, there has been heightened interest in the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing. Effective programmes have been developed for promoting mental health in everyday settings such as families, schools and workplaces. New evidence indicates that many mental disorders and suicides are preventable by public mental health interventions. Available evidence favours the population approach over high-risk approaches. Public mental health emphasizes the role of primary care in the provision of mental health services to the population. The convincing evidence base for population-based mental health interventions asks for actions for putting evidence into practice. © 2015 World Psychiatric Association.World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 02/2015; 14(1):36-42. DOI:10.1002/wps.20178 · 12.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Poor mental health has been consistently linked with the experience of financial hardship and poverty. However, the temporal association between these factors must be clarified before hardship alleviation can be considered as an effective mental health promotion and prevention strategy. We examined whether the longitudinal associations between financial hardship and mental health problems are best explained by an individual's current or prior experience of hardship, or their underlying vulnerability. We analysed nine waves (years: 2001-2010) of nationally representative panel data from the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (n = 11,134). Two components of financial hardship (deprivation and cash-flow problems) and income poverty were coded into time-varying and time-invariant variables reflecting the contemporaneous experience of hardship (i.e., current), the prior experience of hardship (lagged/12 months), and any experience of hardship during the study period (vulnerability). Multilevel, mixed-effect logistic regression models tested the associations between these measures and mental health. Respondents who reported deprivation and cash-flow problems had greater risk of mental health problems than those who did not. Individuals vulnerable to hardship had greater risk of mental health problems, even at the times they did not report hardship. However, their risk of mental health problems was greater on occasions when they did experience hardship. The results are consistent with the argument that economic and social programmes that address and prevent hardship may promote community mental health.Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00127-015-1027-0 · 2.58 Impact Factor