Housing-led regeneration has been shown to have limited effects on mental health. Considering housing and neighbourhoods as a psychosocial environment, regeneration may have greater impact on positive mental wellbeing than mental ill-health. This study examined the relationship between the positive mental wellbeing of residents living in deprived areas and their perceptions of their housing and neighbourhoods.
A cross-sectional study of 3,911 residents in 15 deprived areas in Glasgow, Scotland. Positive mental wellbeing was measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Using multivariate mulit-nomial logistic regressions and controlling for socio-demographic characteristics and physical health status, we found that several aspects of people's residential psychosocial environments were strongly associated with higher mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing was higher when respondents considered the following: their neighbourhood had very good aesthetic qualities (RRR 3.3, 95% CI 1.9, 5.8); their home and neighbourhood represented personal progress (RRR 3.2 95% CI 2.2, 4.8; RRR 2.6, 95% CI 1.8, 3.7, respectively); their home had a very good external appearance (RRR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3, 5.1) and a very good front door (both an aesthetic and a security/control item) (RRR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2, 3.8); and when satisfaction with their landlord was very high (RRR 2.3, 95% CI 2.2,4.8). Perception of poor neighbourhood aesthetic quality was associated with lower wellbeing (RRR 0.4, 95% CI 0.3, 0.5).
This study has shown that for people living in deprived areas, the quality and aesthetics of housing and neighbourhoods are associated with mental wellbeing, but so too are feelings of respect, status and progress that may be derived from how places are created, serviced and talked about by those who live there. The implication for regeneration activities undertaken to improve housing and neighbourhoods is that it is not just the delivery of improved housing that is important for mental wellbeing, but also the quality and manner of delivery.
OBJECTIVE. This study examines the effects of resident and facility characteristics on the probability of nursing home residents receiving treatment by mental health professionals. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING. The study uses data from the Institutional Population Component of the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey, a secondary data source containing data on 3,350 nursing home residents living in 810 nursing homes as of January 1, 1987. STUDY DESIGN. Andersen's health services use model (1968) is used to estimate a multivariate logistic equation for the effects of independent variables on the probability that a resident has received services from mental health professionals. Important variables include resident race, sex, and age; presence of several behaviors and reported mental illnesses; and facility ownership, facility size, and facility certification. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS. Data on 188 residents were excluded from the sample because information was missing on several important variables. For some additional variables residents who had missing information were coded as negative responses. This left 3,162 observations for analysis in the logistic regressions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS. Older residents and residents with more ADL limitations are much less likely than other residents to have received treatment from a mental health professional. Residents with reported depression, schizophrenia, or psychoses, and residents who are agitated or hallucinating are more likely to have received treatment. Residents in government nursing homes, homes run by chains, and homes with low levels of certification are less likely to have received treatment. CONCLUSIONS. Few residents receive treatment from mental health professionals despite need. Older, physically disabled residents need special attention. Care in certain types of facilities requires further study. New regulations mandating treatment for mentally ill residents will demand increased attention from nursing home administrators and mental health professionals.
The effect of suffering among patients with advanced dementia on their family members' mental health has not been investigated.
To describe family members' exposure to distressing symptoms among nursing home (NH) residents with advanced dementia and associations between such exposure and family member mental health.
Data were obtained from an 18-month prospective cohort study of NH residents with advanced dementia and their family member health care proxies (HCPs). Exposure to resident symptoms and associated fear and helplessness was measured quarterly using the Stressful Caregiving Adult Reactions to Experiences of Dying (SCARED) scale (range 0–120). HCP mental health was assessed quarterly using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form (CIDI-SF) (depression), K6 (psychological distress, range, 0–24), and SF-12® mental health subscale.
Seven hundred seventy-nine SCARED scale assessments were completed by 225 HCPs. The most frequent distressing symptoms were: feeling the resident had had enough (33.2%), choking (21.1%) and pain (18.9%). The symptoms eliciting the greatest fear were thinking the resident was dead and seeing them choke. A sense of helplessness was highest when the resident was observed to be in pain or choking. Family members with SCARED scores > 0 were more likely to meet criteria for depression on the CIDI-SF (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14, 5.85), have a K6 score > 0 (AOR 2.31, 95% CI 1.55, 3.43) and have lower SF-12 scores (adjusted parameter estimate −1.51, 95% CI −2.56, −0.47).
Family member exposure to distressing symptoms experienced by their loved ones with advanced dementia is not uncommon and is associated with worse mental health.
Dementia; caregivers; mental health; nursing home
Previous research provides preliminary evidence of spatial variations of mental disorders and associations between neighbourhood social context and mental health. This study expands past literature by (1) using spatial techniques, rather than multilevel models, to compare the spatial distributions of two groups of mental disorders (that is, disorders due to psychoactive substance use, and neurotic, stress related, and somatoform disorders); and (2) investigating the independent impact of contextual deprivation and neighbourhood social disorganisation on mental health, while assessing both the magnitude and the spatial scale of these effects.
Using different spatial techniques, the study investigated mental disorders due to psychoactive substance use, and neurotic disorders.
All 89 285 persons aged 40–69 years residing in Malmö, Sweden, in 2001, geolocated to their place of residence.
The spatial scan statistic identified a large cluster of increased prevalence in a similar location for the two mental disorders in the northern part of Malmö. However, hierarchical geostatistical models showed that the two groups of disorders exhibited a different spatial distribution, in terms of both magnitude and spatial scale. Mental disorders due to substance consumption showed larger neighbourhood variations, and varied in space on a larger scale, than neurotic disorders. After adjustment for individual factors, the risk of substance related disorders increased with neighbourhood deprivation and neighbourhood social disorganisation. The risk of neurotic disorders only increased with contextual deprivation. Measuring contextual factors across continuous space, it was found that these associations operated on a local scale.
Taking space into account in the analyses permitted deeper insight into the contextual determinants of mental disorders.
mental health; social disorder; socioeconomic environment; spatial analysis
The deprived physical environments present in slums are well-known to have adverse health effects on their residents. However, little is known about the health effects of the social environments in slums. Moreover, neighbourhood quantitative spatial analyses of the mental health status of slum residents are still rare. The aim of this paper is to study self-rated mental health data in several slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, by accounting for neighbourhood social and physical associations using spatial statistics. We hypothesised that mental health would show a significant spatial pattern in different population groups, and that the spatial patterns would relate to spatially-correlated health-determining factors (HDF).
We applied a spatial epidemiological approach, including non-spatial ANOVA/ANCOVA, as well as global and local univariate and bivariate Moran's I statistics. The WHO-5 Well-being Index was used as a measure of self-rated mental health.
We found that poor mental health (WHO-5 scores < 13) among the adult population (age ≥15) was prevalent in all slum settlements. We detected spatially autocorrelated WHO-5 scores (i.e., spatial clusters of poor and good mental health among different population groups). Further, we detected spatial associations between mental health and housing quality, sanitation, income generation, environmental health knowledge, education, age, gender, flood non-affectedness, and selected properties of the natural environment.
Spatial patterns of mental health were detected and could be partly explained by spatially correlated HDF. We thereby showed that the socio-physical neighbourhood was significantly associated with health status, i.e., mental health at one location was spatially dependent on the mental health and HDF prevalent at neighbouring locations. Furthermore, the spatial patterns point to severe health disparities both within and between the slums. In addition to examining health outcomes, the methodology used here is also applicable to residuals of regression models, such as helping to avoid violating the assumption of data independence that underlies many statistical approaches. We assume that similar spatial structures can be found in other studies focussing on neighbourhood effects on health, and therefore argue for a more widespread incorporation of spatial statistics in epidemiological studies.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the mental health component of the family medicine residency program at Memorial University of Newfoundland, which contains no formal mental health training with psychiatrists, adequately prepares residents for practice, and to assess which aspects of their training enhanced their mental health skills most. DESIGN: Cross-sectional mailed survey. SETTING: A 2-year family practice residency program with a focus on training for rural practice offering integrated and eclectic multidisciplinary mental health training rather than formal psychiatry experience. PARTICIPANTS: Graduates of the family practice residency program, 1990 to 1995. Completed questionnaires were returned by 62 of 116 physicians. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Confidence of respondents in dealing with 23 mental health problems. RESULTS: Respondents felt prepared to address most of the mental health needs of their patients. Higher levels of confidence were associated with lower referral rates. There was no significant relationship between time spent in practice and confidence in dealing with mental health problems. Graduates' confidence correlated with areas in the program identified as strong. CONCLUSIONS: The program appears to train family doctors effectively to meet the mental health needs of their patients.
Outcome quality indicators are rarely used to evaluate mental health services because most jurisdictions lack clinical data systems to construct indicators in a meaningful way across mental health providers. As a result, important information about the effectiveness of health services remains unknown. This study examined the feasibility of developing mental health quality indicators (MHQIs) using the Resident Assessment Instrument - Mental Health (RAI-MH), a clinical assessment system mandated for use in Ontario, Canada as well as many other jurisdictions internationally.
Retrospective analyses were performed on two datasets containing RAI-MH assessments for 1,056 patients from 7 facilities and 34,788 patients from 70 facilities in Ontario, Canada. The RAI-MH was completed by clinical staff of each facility at admission and follow-up, typically at discharge. The RAI-MH includes a breadth of information on symptoms, functioning, socio-demographics, and service utilization. Potential MHQIs were derived by examining the empirical patterns of improvement and incidence in depressive symptoms and cognitive performance across facilities in both sets of data. A prevalence indicator was also constructed to compare restraint use. Logistic regression was used to evaluate risk adjustment of MHQIs using patient case-mix index scores derived from the RAI-MH System for Classification of Inpatient Psychiatry.
Subscales from the RAI-MH, the Depression Severity Index (DSI) and Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS), were found to have good reliability and strong convergent validity. Unadjusted rates of five MHQIs based on the DSI, CPS, and restraints showed substantial variation among facilities in both sets of data. For instance, there was a 29.3% difference between the first and third quartile facility rates of improvement in cognitive performance. The case-mix index score was significantly related to MHQIs for cognitive performance and restraints but had a relatively small impact on adjusted rates/prevalence.
The RAI-MH is a feasible assessment system for deriving MHQIs. Given the breadth of clinical content on the RAI-MH there is an opportunity to expand the number of MHQIs beyond indicators of depression, cognitive performance, and restraints. Further research is needed to improve risk adjustment of the MHQIs for their use in mental health services report card and benchmarking activities.
Quality; Performance; Indicators; Outcomes; interRAI; Mental health; Psychiatry; Assessment system
Previous research suggested that community-level mental health service use was low following the World Trade Center Disaster (WTCD) and that brief interventions were effective. In the current study, we assess service use during a longer follow-up period and compare the effectiveness of brief versus multisession interventions. To assess these, we conducted baseline diagnostic interviews among New York City residents 1 year after the WTCD (N = 2368) and follow-up interviews 2 years afterward (N = 1681). At follow-up, there was an increase in mental health utilization, especially for psychotropic medication use, and a decrease in use of physicians for mental health treatment. The best predictor of service use at follow-up was higher WTCD exposure. Using propensity score matching to control for selection bias, brief mental health interventions appeared more effective than multisession interventions. These intervention findings held even after matching on demographic, stress exposure, mental health history, treatment history, access to care, other key variables. Our study suggested that community-level mental health service use increased in the follow-up period and that brief interventions were more effective than conventional multisession interventions. Since this study was designed to assess treatment outcomes, our findings raise clinical questions.
Mental health services; posttraumatic stress disorder; alcohol abuse; depression; treatment outcomes; comparative effectiveness; brief interventions; propensity scores
Because of the high proportion of nursing home residents with a mental illness other than dementia, the quality of mental health care in nursing homes is a major clinical and policy issue. The authors apply Donabedian's framework for assessing quality of care based on the triad of structure, process, and outcome-based measures in reviewing the literature on the quality of mental health care in nursing homes. Quality measures used within the literature include mental health consultations and hospitalizations, inappropriate use of medications, and mental health survey deficiencies. Factors related to the resident's welfare (nurse staffing), provider norms (locality), and financial factors (payer mix) were associated with the quality of mental health care. Although future research is necessary, the extant literature suggests that persons with mental illness are frequently admitted to nursing homes and their care is often of poor quality and related to a series of resident and facility factors.
nursing homes; quality; mental health
Promoting mental health and preventing mental health problems are important tasks for international organizations and nations. Such goals entail the establishment of active information networks and effective systems and indicators to assess the mental health of populations. This being said, there is a need in Korea develop ways to measure the state of mental health in Korea.
This paper reviews the mental health indicator development policies and practices of seven organizations, countries, and regions: WHO, OECD, EU, United States, Australia, UK, and Scotland. Using Delphi method, we conducted two surveys of mental health indicators for experts in the field of mental health. The survey questionnaire included 5 domains: mental health status, mental health factor, mental health system, mental health service, and quality of mental health services. We considered 124 potential mental health indicators out of more than 600 from indicators of international organizations and foreign countries.
We obtained the top 30 mental health indicators from the surveys. Among them, 10 indicators belong to the mental health system. The most important five mental health indicators are suicide rate, rate of increase in mental disorder treatment, burden caused by mental disorders, adequacy of identifying problems of mental health projects and deriving solutions, and annual prevalence of mental disorders.
Our study provides information about the process for indicator development and the use of survey results to measure the mental health status of the Korean population. The aim of mental health indicator development is to improve the mental health system by better grasping the current situation. We suggest these mental health indicators can monitor progress in efforts to implement reform policies, provide community services, and involve users, families and other stakeholders in mental health promotion, prevention, care and rehabilitation.
Mental health; Mental health indicator; Development
Persons with major mental illness often have chronic diseases and poor physical health. Therefore, all practicing physicians should learn about communicating effectively with these patients. Few efforts to teach medical students communication skills have specifically targeted patients with major mental illness. Indeed, most of the limited literature on this topic is decades old, predating significant scientific advances in cognitive neuroscience and psychiatric therapeutics and changes in social policies regarding major mental illness. To gather preliminary insight into training needs, we interviewed 13 final-year students from 2 Boston medical schools. Students' observations coalesced around 4 themes: fears and anxieties about interacting with persons with major mental illness; residents “protecting” students from patients with major mental illness; lack of clinical maturity; and barriers to learning during psychiatry rotations. Educational researchers must explore ways to better prepare young physicians to communicate effectively with patients with major mental illness.
mental illness; communication skills; medical education
We examined mental health status among displaced New Orleans residents in the fall of 2006, one year after Hurricane Katrina.
We used data from the Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study, which measured the prevalence of probable mild or moderate and serious mental illness among a representative sample of people who resided in New Orleans at the time of the hurricane, including people who evacuated the city but did not return. We also analyzed disparities in mental health status by race, education, and income.
We found high rates of mental illness in our sample and major disparities in mental illness by race, education, and income. Severe damage to or destruction of an individual’s home was a major covariate of mental illness.
Property loss accounted for most of the disparity in mental illness between blacks and whites.
Mental health; socioeconomic factors; race/ethnicity; environment; surveys; Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of discrimination and familismo on internalizing mental health symptoms among two generations of Latinos, youth and their parents, residing in the Southwest region of the United States. Data from the Latino Acculturation and Health Project was used to determine the direct and moderation effects of discrimination and familismo on internalizing mental health symptoms. The sample included 150 Latino youth–parent dyads who were immigrants or U.S. born. Descriptive results indicate that youth had significantly higher scores on the familismo scale whereas parents reported higher levels of perceived discrimination. Regression analyses results revealed direct effects of familismo and perceived discrimination on internalizing mental health symptoms. Implications for practice are discussed.
Given the increasing evidence that older ethnic minorities underuse mental health services, the present study assessed determinants of attitudes toward mental health services with a sample of older Korean Americans (N = 472). Adapting Andersen’s behavioral health model, predisposing factors (age, sex, marital status, education, length of residence in the United States), mental health needs (anxiety, suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms), and enabling factors (personal experiences and beliefs) were considered as potential predictors. Shorter residence in the United States and higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with more-negative attitudes toward mental health services. Culture-influenced personal beliefs (knowledge about mental illness and stigmatism) were found to play a substantial role in shaping individuals’ attitudes toward mental health services. Findings call attention to the need to investigate how culture influences the response to mental health needs and to develop community education and outreach programs to close the gaps between mental health needs and service utilization in older ethnic minority populations.
mental health; service utilization; Korean American; older adults
The Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) service for unhealthy alcohol use has been shown to be one of the most cost-effective medical preventive services and has been associated with long-term reductions in alcohol use and health care utilization. Recent studies also indicate that SBIRT reduces illicit drug use. In 2008 and 2009, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration funded 17 grantees to develop and implement medical residency training programs that teach residents how to provide SBIRT services for individuals with alcohol and drug misuse conditions. This paper presents the curricular activities associated with this initiative.
We used an online survey delivery application (Qualtrics) to e-mail a survey instrument developed by the project directors of 4 SBIRT residency programs to each residency grantee's director. The survey included both quantitative and qualitative data.
All 17 (100%) grantees responded. Respondents encompassed residency programs in emergency medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, psychiatry, surgery, and preventive medicine. Thirteen of 17 (76%) grantee programs used both online and in-person approaches to deliver the curriculum. All 17 grantees incorporated motivational interviewing and validated screening instruments in the curriculum. As of June 2011, 2867 residents had been trained, and project directors reported all residents were incorporating SBIRT into their practices. Consistently mentioned challenges in implementing an SBIRT curriculum included finding time in residents' schedules for the modules and the need for trained faculty to verify resident competence.
The SBIRT initiative has resulted in rapid development of educational programs and a cohort of residents who utilize SBIRT in practice. Skills verification, program dissemination, and sustainability after grant funding ends remain ongoing challenges.
People living in areas of multiple deprivation are more likely to smoke and less likely to quit smoking. This study examines the effect on smoking and intention to quit smoking for those who have experienced housing improvements (HI) in deprived areas of Glasgow, UK, and investigates whether such effects can be explained by improved mental health.
Quasi-experimental, 2-year longitudinal study, comparing residents’ smoking and intention to quit smoking for HI group (n=545) with non-HI group (n=517), adjusting for baseline (2006) sociodemographic factors and smoking status. SF-12 mental health scores were used to assess mental health, along with self-reported experience of, and General Practitioner (GP) consultations for, anxiety and depression in the last 12 months.
There was no relationship between smoking and HI, adjusting for baseline rates (OR=0.97, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.67, p=0.918). We found an association between intention to quit and HI, which remained significant after adjusting for sociodemographics and previous intention to quit (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.12 to 4.16, p=0.022). We found no consistent evidence that this association was attenuated by improvement in our three mental health measures.
Providing residents in disadvantaged areas with better housing may prompt them to consider quitting smoking. However, few people actually quit, indicating that residential improvements or changes to the physical environment may not be sufficient drivers of personal behavioural change. It would make sense to link health services to housing regeneration projects to support changes in health behaviours at a time when environmental change appears to make behavioural change more likely.
Smoking; Mental Health; Longitudinal Studies; Housing; Health Behaviour
Research on happiness has been of interest in many parts of the world. Here we provide evidence from developing countries; this is the first analysis of happiness among a cohort of Thai distance learning adults residing throughout the country (n = 60,569 in 2009). To measure happiness, we tested use of the short format Thai Mental Health Indicators (TMHI), correlating each domain with two direct measures of happiness and life satisfaction. Several TMHI domains correlated strongly with happiness. We found the mental state and the social support domains moderately or strongly correlated with happiness by either measure (correlation coefficients 0.24–0.56). The other two TMHI domains (mental capacity and mental quality) were not correlated with happiness. Analysis of socio-demographic attributes and happiness revealed little effect of age and sex but marital status (divorced or widowed), low household income, and no paid work all had strong adverse effects. Our findings provide Thai benchmarks for measuring happiness and associated socio-demographic attributes. We also provide evidence that the TMHI can measure happiness in the Thai population. Furthermore, the results among Thai cohort members can be monitored over time and could be useful for comparison with other Southeast Asian countries.
Happiness; Mental health; Subjective well-being; Cohort study Thailand
Residents of rural areas may be at increased risk of mental health problems. If so, public health programs aimed at preventing poor mental health may have to be customized for delivery to rural areas. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between residing in a rural area and frequent mental distress, which is one indicator of poor mental health.
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey for the state of Texas was the source of information about obesity, demographic characteristics, and frequent mental distress (FMD). FMD was defined as poor self-rated mental health during at least half of the days in the last month. Adjusted odds for FMD were computed for rural and suburban respondents relative to urban respondents.
FMD was found to be independently associated with lower education, being younger, being non-Hispanic, being unmarried, and being female. FMD also was associated with being obese or underweight and suburban residence (relative to metro-central city). FMD was not more common among rural respondents than in the metro-central city.
Rural respondents were not at greater risk of frequent mental distress than urban respondents in this sample. Programs seeking to improve community mental health should target persons with less education and extremes in body weight, along with women and single persons, regardless of whether they live in rural or urban areas.
Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005, exposed area residents to trauma and extensive property loss. However, little is known about the long-run effects of the hurricane on the mental health of those who were exposed. This study documents long-run changes in mental health among a particularly vulnerable group—low income mothers—from before to after the hurricane, and identifies factors that are associated with different recovery trajectories. Longitudinal surveys of 532 low-income mothers from New Orleans were conducted approximately one year before, 7 to 19 months after, and 43 to 54 months after Hurricane Katrina. The surveys collected information on mental health, social support, earnings and hurricane experiences. We document changes in post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), as measured by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and symptoms of psychological distress (PD), as measured by the K6 scale. We find that although PTSS has declined over time after the hurricane, it remained high 43 to 54 months later. PD also declined, but did not return to pre-hurricane levels. At both time periods, psychological distress before the hurricane, hurricane-related home damage, and exposure to traumatic events were associated with PTSS that co-occurred with PD. Hurricane-related home damage and traumatic events were associated with PTSS without PD. Home damage was an especially important predictor of chronic PTSS, with and without PD. Most hurricane stressors did not have strong associations with PD alone over the short or long run. Over the long run, higher earnings were protective against PD, and greater social support was protective against PTSS. These results indicate that mental health problems, particularly PTSS alone or in co-occurrence with PD, among Hurricane Katrina survivors remain a concern, especially for those who experienced hurricane-related trauma and had poor mental health or low socioeconomic status before the hurricane.
Mental health; natural disasters; Hurricane Katrina; USA; women
OBJECTIVE: To determine family physicians' role in the mental health care system. DESIGN: The Mental Health Supplement to the Ontario Health Survey is an epidemiologic, retrospective, home-interview survey. Results reported here are based on responses of a weighted sample of patients aged 15 to 64. SETTING: Ontario, 1990 to 1991. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 9953 household residents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Standardized assessment of mental disorders, associated risk factors and disability, and patterns of use of mental health services. RESULTS: More people seek mental health services from their family physicians (FPs) than from psychiatrists, social workers, or psychologists. Among patients who consulted for mental health purposes, more than 35.4% saw FPs only, 24.7% saw FPs and other mental health care providers (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, others), and 40% saw other mental health care providers only. There were few sociodemographic, diagnostic, or clinical severity differences between the FP-only group and the other two groups. Some evidence suggested FPs saw more recent onset cases, but they were also involved in joint care for more complex or disabled cases. More than 57% of those seeing FPs received medication; 43% received other forms of care. Those seeing FPs only made four visits per year; those who consulted other mental health professionals made 14 to 20. CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms FPs' important role in the current mental health care system.
Although there have been many population studies of mental health literacy, little is known about the mental health literacy of people who reside in rural areas. This study sought to determine the impact of remoteness on public knowledge of depression and schizophrenia.
The mental health literacy of residents of major cities, inner regional, and outer-remote (including outer regional, remote, and very remote) regions were compared using data from a 2003–04 Australian national survey of the mental health literacy of 3998 adults. Measures included the perceived helpfulness of a range of professionals, non-professionals and interventions, and the causes, prognosis, and outcomes after treatment for four case vignettes describing depression, depression with suicidal ideation, early schizophrenia and chronic schizophrenia. Participant awareness of Australia's national depression initiative and depression in the media, their symptoms of depression and exposure to the conditions depicted in the vignettes were also compared.
Mental health literacy was similar across remoteness categories. However, inner regional residents showed superior identification of the disorders depicted in the suicidal ideation and chronic schizophrenia vignettes. They were also more likely to report having heard of Australia's national depression health promotion campaign. Conversely, they were less likely than major city residents to rate the evidence-based treatment of psychotherapy helpful for depression. Both inner regional and outer-remote residents were less likely to rate psychologists as helpful for depression alone. The rural groups were more likely to rate the non-evidence based interventions of drinking and painkillers as helpful for a depression vignette. In addition, outer-remote residents were more likely to identify the evidence based treatment of antipsychotics as harmful for early schizophrenia and less likely to endorse psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and general practitioners as helpful for the condition.
Mental health awareness campaigns in rural and remote regions may be most appropriately focused on communicating which interventions are effective for depression and schizophrenia and which mental health and other professionals are trained in the best-practice delivery and management of these. There is also a need to communicate to rural residents that alcohol and pain relievers are not an effective solution for depression.
Current interventions to enhance patient self-efficacy, a key mediator of health behavior, have limited primary care application.
To explore the effectiveness of an office-based intervention for training resident physicians to use self-efficacy-enhancing interviewing techniques (SEE IT).
Randomized controlled trial.
Family medicine and internal medicine resident physicians (N = 64) at an academic medical center.
Resident use of SEE IT (a count of ten possible behaviors) was coded from audio recordings of the physician-patient portion of two standardized patient (SP) instructor training visits and two unannounced post-training SP visits, all involving common physical and mental health conditions and behavior change issues. One post-training SP visit involved health conditions similar to those experienced in training, while the other involved new conditions.
Experimental group residents demonstrated significantly greater use of SEE IT than controls, starting after the first training visit and sustained through the final post-training visit. The mean effect of the intervention was significant [adjusted incidence rate ratio for increased use of SEE IT = 1.94 (95% confidence interval = 1.34, 2.79; p < 0.001)]. There were no significant effects of resident gender, race/ethnicity, specialty, training level, or SP health conditions.
SP instructors can teach resident physicians to apply SEE IT during SP office visits, and the effects extend to health conditions beyond those used for training. Future studies should explore the effects of the intervention on practicing physicians, physician use of SEE IT during actual patient visits, and its influence on patient health behaviors and outcomes.
education, medical; patient simulation; physician-patient relations; randomized controlled trials; self-efficacy
Despite large-scale investments in mental health care in the community since the 1990 s, a trend towards reinstitutionalization has been visible since 2002. Since many mental health care providers regard this as an undesirable trend, the question arises: In the coming 5 years, what types of residence should be organized for people with mental health problems? The purpose of this article is to provide mental health care providers, public housing corporations, and local government with guidelines for planning organizational strategy concerning types of residence for people with mental health problems.
A scenario analysis was performed in four steps: 1) an exploration of the external environment; 2) the identification of key uncertainties; 3) the development of scenarios; 4) the translation of scenarios into guidelines for planning organizational strategy. To explore the external environment a document study was performed, and 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted. During a workshop, a panel of experts identified two key uncertainties in the external environment, and formulated four scenarios.
The study resulted in four scenarios: 1) Integrated and independent living in the community with professional care; 2) Responsible healthcare supported by society; 3) Differentiated provision within the walls of the institution; 4) Residence in large-scale institutions but unmet need for care. From the range of aspects within the different scenarios, the panel was able to work out concrete guidelines for planning organizational strategy.
In the context of residence for people with mental health problems, the focus should be on investment in community care and their re-integration into society. A joint effort is needed to achieve this goal. This study shows that scenario analysis leads to useful guidelines for planning organizational strategy in mental health care.
Objective: Previous quantitative research has suggested that there is a link between housing, the urban environment, and mental health. However, methodological and design issues make it difficult to disentangle the relative influence of dwelling specific and wider urban environmental influences on individual mental health. The aim of this study was to explore the link between the dwelling, the immediate urban environment, and mental health to generate a new conceptual framework by which understanding of dwelling and urban environmental influences on mental health can be advanced.
Design and participants: Qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with 32 inner city residents. Participants, stratified by sex and mental health status, were randomly recruited from a wider quantitative survey. An almost equal number of men and women as well as people with or without mental health problems participated, allowing for comparison of experience. Data were analysed inductively to generate an appropriate theoretical framework regarding dwelling and urban environmental influences on mental health.
Setting: An inner city neighbourhood of about 6200 people in north west London. Most of that population live in public housing.
Main results: The principal study finding is that between the dwelling unit and the neighbourhood unit, evidence was found for another meaningful contextual unit of analysis, the "residential bubble" through which effects on mental health can be mediated. The residential bubble describes a limited area of three dimensional space that surrounds a dwelling, encompassing immediate neighbours (above, below, and adjacent) and shared public space bordering the dwelling. Positive events and processes within the bubble had a beneficial influence on mental health whereas negative ones tended to have a damaging influence. These seemed to disproportionately have an impact on people with pre-existing mental health problems.
Conclusion: The concept of the "residential bubble" may be a meaningful new contextual unit of analysis in urban mental health. This may have important implications with regards to interventions and measurement development.
Physical morbidity is a potent risk factor for depression onset and clearly increases with age, yet prior research has often found depressive disorders to decrease with age. This study tests the possibility that the relationship between age and mental disorders differs as a function of physical co-morbidity.
Eighteen general population surveys were carried out among household-residing adults as part of the World Mental Health (WMH) surveys initiative (n=42 697). DSM-IV disorders were assessed using face-to-face interviews with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0). The effect of age was estimated for 12-month depressive and/or anxiety disorders with and without physical or pain co-morbidity, and for physical and/or pain conditions without mental co-morbidity.
Depressive and anxiety disorders decreased with age, a result that cannot be explained by organic exclusion criteria. No significant difference was found in the relationship between mental disorders and age as a function of physical/pain co-morbidity. The majority of older persons have chronic physical or pain conditions without co-morbid mental disorders; by contrast, the majority of those with mental disorders have physical/pain co-morbidity, particularly among the older age groups.
CIDI-diagnosed depressive and anxiety disorders in the general population decrease with age, despite greatly increasing physical morbidity with age. Physical morbidity among persons with mental disorder is the norm, particularly in older populations. Health professionals, including mental health professionals, need to address barriers to the management of physical co-morbidity among those with mental disorders.
Age; anxiety disorder; co-morbidity; depressive disorder; physical