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1.  Improving the outcomes of primary care attenders with common mental disorders in developing countries: a cluster randomized controlled trial of a collaborative stepped care intervention in Goa, India 
Trials  2008;9:4.
Background and Objective
Common mental disorders (CMD) are a leading global burden of disease. Up to 30% of primary care attenders suffer from these disorders but most do not receive evidence-based drug or psychological treatments. There are no trials of interventions which attempt to integrate these treatments into routine primary care in developing countries. The aims of this trial (the MANAS Project) are to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a collaborative stepped-care intervention for the treatment of CMD in India.
Study Design
A cluster randomized controlled trial will be implemented in the state of Goa, on the west coast of India. Twenty-four primary care facilities, 12 from the government sector and 12 from the private sector, will be enrolled in two consecutive phases. For each sector, facilities will be randomly allocated within strata defined by urban/rural location, population size and presence of a visiting psychiatrist. Facilities will be randomly allocated to receive the collaborative stepped care intervention or the enhanced usual care control intervention. Both arms share two components of the intervention, viz., routine screening, and in the government clinics provision of antidepressants. In addition, the collaborative stepped care arm also provides a range of psychosocial treatments delivered by a specially trained Health Counselor, and supervision by a visiting Psychiatrist. A total of 3600 primary care attenders who are detected to suffer from a CMD based on a validated screening questionnaire will be recruited. The primary outcome is the proportion of subjects who recover from an ICD10 defined CMD at baseline by 6 months. Additional endpoints at 2 and 12 months will assess the speed and sustainability of achieving the primary outcomes. Other outcomes will include recovery from ICD10 defined depression and incidence of ICD-10 among individuals who were sub-threshold cases at baseline. Economic and disability outcomes will be assessed to estimate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.
This will be the first trial of the effectiveness of a complex intervention aiming to integrate efficacious treatments for CMD into routine primary care in a developing country. If effective, its findings will have relevance to policy makers who wish to scale up treatments for CMD in primary care across the world, but mostly in those countries where specialist mental health services are few.
Study Registration
The MANAS project is registered through the National Institutes of Health sponsored clinical trials registry and has been assigned the identifier: NCT00446407
PMCID: PMC2265673  PMID: 18221516
2.  The impact of a lay counselor led collaborative care intervention for common mental disorders in public and private primary care: A qualitative evaluation nested in the MANAS trial in Goa, India☆ 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)  2013;88(100):48-55.
The MANAS trial evaluated the effectiveness of a lay counselor led collaborative stepped care intervention for Common Mental Disorders (CMD) in public and private sector primary care settings in Goa, India. This paper describes the qualitative findings of the experience of the intervention and its impact on health and psychosocial outcomes. Twenty four primary care facilities (12 public and private each) were randomized to provide either collaborative stepped care (CSC) or enhanced usual care (EUC) to adults who screen positive for CMDs. Participants were sampled purposively based on two criteria: gender and, in the CSC arm, adherence with the intervention. The qualitative study component involved two semi-structured interviews with participants of both arms (N = 115); the first interview within 2 months of recruitment and the second 6–8 months after recruitment. Data were collected between September 2007 and November 2009. More participants in the CSC than EUC arm reported relief from symptoms and an improvement in social functioning and positive impact on work and activities of daily life. The CSC participants attributed their improvement both to medication received from the doctors and the strategies suggested by the lay Health Counselors (HC). However, two key differences were observed in the results for the two types of facilities. First, the CSC participants in the public sector clinics were more likely to consider the HCs to be an important component of providing care who served as a link between patient and the doctor, provided them skills on stress management and helped in adherence to medication. Second, in the private sector, doctors performed roles similar to those of the HCs and participants in both arms placed much faith in the doctor who acted as a confidante and was perceived to understand the participant's health and context intimately. Lay counselors working in a CSC model have a positive effect on symptomatic relief, social functioning and satisfaction with care in patients with CMD attending primary care clinics although the impact, compared with usual care, is greater in the public sector.
•Qualitative evaluation of a lay counselor primary mental health care intervention.•The intervention led to improved patients' health and social outcomes.•Improvements were attributed to both counselling and medicines.•Differences were greater in the public compared with the private facilities.
PMCID: PMC3675686  PMID: 23702209
India; Depression; Anxiety; Qualitative; Lay health workers; Randomized controlled trial; Primary care
3.  Common Mental Disorder Symptoms among Patients with Malaria Attending Primary Care in Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Survey 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108923.
Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) are frequent among patients attending primary care. In Africa, CMDs are often misdiagnosed as physical illnesses because many of the patients complain of somatic symptoms of mental distress. We explored whether there was difference in the levels of CMD symptoms between patients with thick film confirmed and clinical cases of malaria with negative thick film in primary care.
A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted on 300 adults with a clinical diagnosis of malaria in primary care centres in Jimma, Ethiopia. Patients were recruited consecutively until 100 cases of ‘malaria’ with a negative thick film and 200 cases of malaria with a positive thick film consented to participate. The 20-item Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) was used to measure CMD. The non-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to explore the association between thick film result and CMD.
Participants had a mean age of 28.2 (S.D = 10.9) years and the majority (57.3%) were women. The prevalence of high CMD symptoms (six or more symptoms on the SRQ-20) was 24.5%. Suicidal ideation was reported by 13.8% of the participants. CMD symptoms were significantly higher in patients who had taken medication prior to visiting the primary care (p = 0.012) and in those whose symptoms had been present for seven days or more (p = 0.041). There was no statistically significant association between level of CMD symptoms and having a negative thick film result (OR 0.98; 95%CI 0.92, 1.04) or objective presence of fever (OR 1.04; 95%CI 0.93, 1.15).
CMD symptoms among cases of malaria did not appear to be associated with a negative thick film result. The high levels of CMD symptoms, including suicidal ideation, calls for further studies to investigate the persistence and progression of these symptoms following resolution of the acute malarial episode.
PMCID: PMC4182507  PMID: 25268347
4.  Occupations, work characteristics and common mental disorder 
Psychological Medicine  2012;43(5):961-973.
The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMDs) by occupation in a representative sample of the English adult population. Another aim was to examine whether the increased risk of CMD in some occupations could be explained by adverse work characteristics.
We derived a sample of 3425 working-age respondents from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Occupations were classified by Standard Occupational Classification group, and CMD measured by the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule. Job characteristics were measured by questionnaire, and tested as explanatory factors in associations of occupation and CMD.
After adjusting for age, gender, housing tenure and marital status, caring personal service occupations had the greatest risk of CMD compared with all occupations (odds ratio 1.73, 95% confidence interval 1.16–2.58). The prevalence of adverse psychosocial work characteristics did not follow the pattern of CMD by occupation. Work characteristics did not explain the increased risk of CMDs associated with working in personal service occupations. Contrary to our hypotheses, adding work characteristics individually to the association of occupation and CMD tended to increase rather than decrease the odds for CMD.
As has been found by others, psychosocial work characteristics were associated with CMD. However, we found that in our English national dataset they could not explain the high rates of CMD in particular occupations. We suggest that selection into occupations may partly explain high CMD rates in certain occupations. Also, we did not measure emotional demands, and these may be important mediators of the relationship between occupation type and CMDs.
PMCID: PMC3615626  PMID: 22906225
Depression; epidemiology; mental disorder; occupation; work
5.  The integration of the treatment for common mental disorders in primary care: experiences of health care providers in the MANAS trial in Goa, India 
The MANAS trial reported that a Lay Health Counsellor (LHC) led collaborative stepped care intervention (the "MANAS intervention") for Common Mental Disorders (CMD) was effective in public sector primary care clinics but private sector General Practitioners (GPs) did as well with or without the additional counsellor. This paper aims to describe the experiences of integrating the MANAS intervention in primary care.
Qualitative semi-structured interviews with key members (n = 119) of the primary health care teams upon completion of the trial and additional interviews with control arm GPs upon completion of the outcome analyses which revealed non-inferiority of this arm.
Several components of the MANAS intervention were reported to have been critically important for facilitating integration, notably: screening and the categorization of the severity of CMD; provision of psychosocial treatments and adherence management; and the support of the visiting psychiatrist. Non-adherence was common, often because symptoms had been controlled or because of doubt that health care interventions could address one's 'life difficulties'. Interpersonal therapy was intended to be provided face to face by the LHC; however it could not be delivered for most eligible patients due to the cost implications related to travel to the clinic and the time lost from work. The LHCs had particular difficulty in working with patients with extreme social difficulties or alcohol related problems, and elderly patients, as the intervention seemed unable to address their specific needs. The control arm GPs adopted practices similar to the principles of the MANAS intervention; GPs routinely diagnosed CMD and provided psychoeducation, advice on life style changes and problem solving, prescribed antidepressants, and referred to specialists as appropriate.
The key factors which enhance the acceptability and integration of a LHC in primary care are training, systematic steps to build trust, the passage of time, the observable impacts on patient outcomes, and supervision by a visiting psychiatrist. Several practices by the control arm GPs approximated those of the LHC which may partly explain our findings that they were as effective as the MANAS intervention arm GPs in enabling recovery.
PMCID: PMC3197544  PMID: 21968202
6.  Problem-solving therapy for depression and common mental disorders in Zimbabwe: piloting a task-shifting primary mental health care intervention in a population with a high prevalence of people living with HIV 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:828.
There is limited evidence that interventions for depression and other common mental disorders (CMD) can be integrated sustainably into primary health care in Africa. We aimed to pilot a low-cost multi-component 'Friendship Bench Intervention' for CMD, locally adapted from problem-solving therapy and delivered by trained and supervised female lay workers to learn if was feasible and possibly effective as well as how best to implement it on a larger scale.
We trained lay workers for 8 days in screening and monitoring CMD and in delivering the intervention. Ten lay workers screened consecutive adult attenders who either were referred or self-referred to the Friendship Bench between July and December 2007. Those scoring above the validated cut-point of the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ) for CMD were potentially eligible. Exclusions were suicide risk or very severe depression. All others were offered 6 sessions of problem-solving therapy (PST) enhanced with a component of activity scheduling. Weekly nurse-led group supervision and monthly supervision from a mental health specialist were provided. Data on SSQ scores at 6 weeks after entering the study were collected by an independent research nurse. Lay workers completed a brief evaluation on their experiences of delivering the intervention.
Of 395 potentially eligible, 33 (8%) were excluded due to high risk. Of the 362 left, 2% (7) declined and 10% (35) were lost to follow-up leaving an 88% response rate (n = 320). Over half (n = 166, 52%) had presented with an HIV-related problem. Mean SSQ score fell from 11.3 (sd 1.4) before treatment to 6.5 (sd 2.4) after 3-6 sessions. The drop in SSQ scores was proportional to the number of sessions attended. Nine of the ten lay workers rated themselves as very able to deliver the PST intervention.
We have found preliminary evidence of a clinically meaningful improvement in CMD associated with locally adapted problem-solving therapy delivered by lay health workers through routine primary health care in an African setting. There is a need to test the effectiveness of this task-shifting mental health intervention in an appropriately powered randomised controlled trial.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3210104  PMID: 22029430
7.  Health service utilization by patients with common mental disorder identified by the Self-Reporting Questionnaire in a primary care setting in Zomba, Malawi: A descriptive study 
There has been no study carried out to assess health service utilization by people with common mental disorder (CMD) in Malawi.
The aim of the study was to evaluate health service utilization patterns of patients with CMD in primary health care (PHC) clinics.
The study was conducted in two PHC clinics in one of the 28 districts in Malawi. Face-to-face interviews with the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) were conducted in a sample of 323 PHC attendees aged 18 years and older who attended the PHC clinics for any reason.
The prevalence of probable CMD in the sample was 20.1%. People with probable CMD had a higher mean number of health facility visits in the previous three months compared to those without probable CMD (1.6 vs 1.19, p = .02).
The study reveals high utilization of health services for people with CMD in the PHC setting. There is a need for PHC workers to improve skills in diagnosing patients with CMD to make PHC services more effective by reducing re-attendance and improving patient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4171248  PMID: 23877337
Common mental disorder; depression; health service utilization; primary health care; developing countries
8.  Quality of primary care for resettled refugees in the Netherlands with chronic mental and physical health problems: a cross-sectional analysis of medical records and interview data 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15(1):160.
A high prevalence of mental and physical ill health among refugees resettled in the Netherlands has been reported. With this study we aim to assess the quality of primary healthcare for resettled refugees in the Netherlands with chronic mental and non-communicable health problems, we examined: a) general practitioners’ (GP) recognition of common mental disorders (CMD) (depression and anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms); b) patients’ awareness of diabetes type II (DMII) and hypertension (HT); and c) GPs’ adherence to guidelines for CMD, DMII and HT.
From 172 refugees resettled in the Netherlands, interview data (2010–2011) and medical records (n = 106), were examined. Inclusion was based on medical record diagnoses for DMII and HT, and on questionnaire-based CMD measures (Hopkins Symptom Checklist for depression and anxiety; Harvard Trauma Questionnaire for PTSD). GP recognition of CMD was calculated as the number of CMD cases registered in the medical record compared with those found in interviews. Patient awareness of HT and DMII was scored as the percentage of subjects diagnosed by the GP who reported their condition during the interview. GPs’ adherence to guidelines for CMD, DMII and HT was measured using established indicators.
We identified 37 resettled refugees with CMD of which 18 (49%) had been recognised by the GP. We identified 16 refugees with DMII and 14 with HT from the medical record; 24 (80%) were aware of their condition. Thirty-five out of these 53 (66%) resettled refugees with chronic mental and non-communicable disorders received guideline-adherent treatment.
This study shows that awareness in resettled refugees of GP diagnosed DMII and HT is high, whereas GP recognition of CMD and overall guideline adherence are moderate.
PMCID: PMC4262989  PMID: 25249345
Chronic disease; Mental health; Refugees; Quality of care; Primary care
9.  Population level mental distress in rural Ethiopia 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14:194.
As part of a situational analysis for a research programme on the integration of mental health care into primary care (Programme for Improving Mental Health Care-PRIME), we conducted a baseline study aimed at determining the broad indicators of the population level of psychosocial distress in a predominantly rural community in Ethiopia.
The study was a population-based cross-sectional survey of 1497 adults selected through a multi-stage random sampling process. Population level psychosocial distress was evaluated by estimating the magnitude of common mental disorder symptoms (CMD; depressive, anxiety and somatic symptoms reaching the level of probable clinical significance), harmful use of alcohol, suicidality and psychosocial stressors experienced by the population.
The one-month prevalence of CMD at the mild, moderate and severe threshold levels was 13.8%, 9.0% and 5.1% respectively. The respective one-month prevalence of any suicidal ideation, persistent suicidal ideation and suicide attempt was 13.5%, 3.8% and 1.8%. Hazardous use of alcohol was identified in 22.4%, significantly higher among men (33.4%) compared to women (11.3%). Stressful life events were widespread, with 41.4% reporting at least one threatening life event in the preceding six months. A similar proportion reported poor social support (40.8%). Stressful life events, increasing age, marital loss and hazardous use of alcohol were associated with CMD while stressful life events, marital loss and lower educational status, and CMD were associated with suicidality. CMD was the strongest factor associated with suicidality [e.g., OR (95% CI) for severe CMD = 60.91 (28.01, 132.48)] and the strength of association increased with increase in the severity of the CMD.
Indicators of psychosocial distress are prevalent in this rural community. Contrary to former assumptions in the literature, social support systems seem relatively weak and stressful life events common. Interventions geared towards modifying general risk factors and broader strategies to promote mental wellbeing are required.
PMCID: PMC4227077  PMID: 24999041
Common mental disorders; Psychosocial distress; Mental distress; Suicidality; Hazardous alcohol use; Wellbeing; Developing country; Africa South of the Sahara; Sub-Saharan Africa; Ethiopia
10.  Social origins, biological treatments: The public health implications of common mental disorders in India 
Indian Journal of Psychiatry  2005;47(1):15-20.
Common mental disorders (CMD) is a term used to describe depressive and anxiety disorders. It replaces the old term ‘neuroses’ and is widely used because of the high level of co-morbidity of depression and anxiety, which limits the validity of categorical models of classification of neurotic disorders, particularly in primary care settings. The global public health significance of CMD is highlighted by the fact that in developing countries, depression is the leading cause of years lived with disability in both men and women aged 15–44 years. This oration brings together research evidence, mostly from South Asia, to show that although the aetiology of CMD may lie in the socioeconomic circumstances faced by many patients, biological treatments such as antidepressants may be among the most cost-effective treatments in resource-poor settings. The oration demonstrates the public health implications of CMD by briefly reviewing the burden of CMD in the region and presents evidence linking the risk for CMD associated with two of the region's most important public health risk factors—poverty and gender disadvantage. The oration also presents recent evidence to establish the association of CMD with some of the region's most important public health issues: maternal and child health; and reproductive and sexual health. Next, the evidence for the efficacy of treatments for CMD in developing countries is presented, focusing on a series of recent trials that show that both psychosocial and biological treatments are effective. Finally, the implications for policy and future research are considered.
PMCID: PMC2918310
Common mental disorders; biological treatment; depression; anxiety
11.  Common Mental Disorders: A Challenge Among People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in Udupi, India 
Globally, the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) is greater among people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (PLHA) as opposed to the general population. There is relatively limited research on mental health in PLHA in India and this study seeks to gain insight in this area.
The aim of this study is to find the prevalence of CMD among PLHA in Udupi district.
Subjects and Methods:
In this cross-sectional study, 227 PLHA were selected using a convenience sampling method and interviewed at a district antiretroviral treatment center. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10 scale) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) were used to measure distress and stress, respectively to assess CMD. Statistical analysis was performed with categorical variables expressed as frequencies and percentages. Continuous variables were measured using mean and standard deviation. Univariate and multivariate analyses using binomial logistic regression was carried out. SPSS version 15 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used to analyze the data.
The K10 Psychological Distress Scale indicated that 78.9% (n = 179/227) of participants suffered from mild to severe mental disorder and it was higher among divorced, separated or widowed PLHA followed by the married participants versus unmarried individuals. The GHQ-12 scale showed 68.3% (n = 155/227) suffering from mild to severe mental stress with the female gender developing stress 2.3 times more often.
High levels of distress were seen among PLHA. They should be periodically screened for CMD and provided early psychological intervention at the point of contact with health professionals. Psychological care needs to be integrated along with the clinical care.
PMCID: PMC3991948  PMID: 24761246
Common mental disorders; India; People living with human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Prevalence
12.  The role of intimate partner violence and other health-related social factors on postpartum common mental disorders: a survey-based structural equation modeling analysis 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:427.
Although studies suggest the relevance of intimate partner violence (IPV) and other health-related social characteristics as risk factors for postpartum mental health, literature lacks evidence about how these are effectively connected. This study thus aims to explore how socio-economic position, maternal age, household and marital arrangements, general stressors, alcohol misuse and illicit drug abuse, and especially psychological and physical IPV relate in a framework leading to postpartum common mental disorder (CMD).
The study was carried out in five primary health care units of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and included 810 randomly selected mothers of children up to five postpartum months waiting for pediatric visits. The postulated pathways between exposures and outcome were based on literature evidence and were further examined using structural equation models.
Direct pathways to postpartum CMD arose from a latent variable depicting socio-economic position, a general stressors score, and both IPV variables. Notably, the effect of psychological IPV on postpartum CMD ran partly through physical IPV. The effect of teenage pregnancy, conjugal instability and maternal burden apparently happens solely through substance use, be it alcohol misuse, illicit drug abuse or both in tandem. Moreover, the effect of the latter on CMD seems to be entirely mediated through both types of IPV.
Although the theoretical model underlying the analysis still requires in-depth detailing, results of this study may have shed some light on the role of both psychological and physical IPV as part of an intricate network of events leading to postpartum CMD. Health initiatives may want to make use of this knowledge when designing preventive and intervention approaches.
PMCID: PMC4047543  PMID: 24884951
Intimate partner violence; Social determinants of health; Postpartum common mental disorder; Mental health; Structural equation model
13.  Uptake of health services for common mental disorders by first-generation Turkish and Moroccan migrants in the Netherlands 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:307.
Migration and ethnic minority status have been associated with higher occurrence of common mental disorders (CMD), while mental health care utilisation by non-Western migrants has been reported to be low compared to the general population in Western host countries. Still, the evidence-base for this is poor. This study evaluates uptake of mental health services for CMD and psychological distress among first-generation non-Western migrants in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A population-based survey. First generation non-Western migrants and ethnic Dutch respondents (N = 580) participated in structured interviews in their own languages. The interview included the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and the Kessler psychological distress scale (K10). Uptake of services was measured by self-report. Data were analysed using weighting techniques and multivariate logistic regression.
Of subjects with a CMD during six months preceding the interview, 50.9% reported care for mental problems in that period; 35.0% contacted specialised services. In relation to CMD, ethnic groups were equally likely to access specialised mental health services. In relation to psychological distress, however, Moroccan migrants reported less uptake of primary care services (OR = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.15 to 0.88).
About half of the ethnic Dutch, Turkish and Moroccan population in Amsterdam with CMD contact mental health services. Since the primary purpose of specialised mental health services is to treat "cases", this study provides strong indications for equal access to specialised care for these ethnic groups. The purpose of primary care services is however to treat psychological distress, so that access appears to be lower among Moroccan migrants.
PMCID: PMC2737538  PMID: 19698174
14.  Impact of perinatal somatic and common mental disorder symptoms on functioning in Ethiopian women: The P-MaMiE population-based cohort study 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2012;136(3-3):340-349.
Little is known of the relationship between perinatal somatic and common mental disorder (CMD) symptoms and impaired functioning in women from settings where the burden of undernutrition and infectious disease morbidity is high.
A population-based sample of 1065 women from Butajira, Ethiopia, was recruited in pregnancy (86.4% of those eligible) and reassessed two months postnatal (954 with singleton, live infants). At both time-points, women were administered a modified version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 and the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (locally-validated) to assess somatic and CMD symptoms, respectively. Negative binomial regression was used to investigate associations of CMD and somatic symptoms with functional impairment (World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Scale, version-II), after adjusting for maternal anthropometric measures, physical ill-health and sociodemographic factors.
In pregnancy, somatic and CMD symptoms were independently associated with worse maternal functional impairment after adjustment for confounders (WHODAS-II score multiplied by 1.09 (95%CI 1.06, 1.13) and 1.11 (95%CI 1.08, 1.14) respectively for each additional symptom). In the postnatal period, the size of association between somatic symptoms and functional impairment was diminished, but the association with CMD symptoms was virtually unchanged (multiplier value 1.04 (95%CI 1.00, 1.09) and 1.11 (95%CI 1.07, 1.16) respectively).
Use of largely self-report measures.
Somatic and CMD symptoms were independently associated with functional impairment in both pregnancy and the postnatal period, with CMD symptoms showing a stronger and more consistent association. This emphasises the public health relevance of both CMD and somatic symptoms in the perinatal period.
PMCID: PMC3314986  PMID: 22196052
Sub-Saharan Africa; Pregnancy; Postnatal; Somatic symptoms; Depression; Disability
15.  Risk Factors for Suicidal Behaviour in Individuals on Disability Pension Due to Common Mental Disorders - A Nationwide Register-Based Prospective Cohort Study in Sweden 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98497.
Common mental disorders (CMD) have become one of the leading causes for disability pension (DP). Studies on predictors of adverse health outcome following DP are sparse. This study aimed to examine the association of different socio-demographic factors and health care consumption with subsequent suicidal behaviour among individuals on DP due to CMD.
This is a population-based prospective cohort study based on register data. All individuals aged 18–64 years, living in Sweden on 31-Dec-2004 who in 2005 were on DP due to CMD (N = 46 745) were followed regarding suicide attempt and suicide (2006–10). Univariate and multivariate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for suicidal behaviour were estimated by Cox regression.
During the five-year follow-up, 1 046 (2.2%) and 210 (0.4%) individuals attempted and committed suicide, respectively. Multivariate analyses showed that young age (18–24 years) and low education predicted suicide attempt, while living alone was associated with both higher suicide attempt and suicide (range of HRs 1.23 to 1.68). Combined prescription of antidepressants with anxiolytics during 2005 and inpatient care due to mental diagnoses or suicide attempt (2001–05) were strongly associated with suicide attempt and suicide (range of HRs 1.3 to 4.9), while inpatient care due to somatic diagnoses and specialized outpatient care due to mental diagnoses during 2001–05 only predicted suicide attempt (HR 1.45; 95% CI: 1.3–1.7; HR 1.30; 95% CI: 1.1–1.7).
Along with socio-demographic factors, it is very important to consider type of previous healthcare use and medication history when designing further research or intervention aiming at individuals on DP due to CMD. Further research is warranted to investigate both characteristics of disability pension due to CMD, like duration, diagnoses and grade as well as mechanisms to subsequent suicidal behavior, taking potential gender differences into consideration.
PMCID: PMC4037205  PMID: 24869674
16.  Expectations and illness perceptions as predictors of benefit recipiency among workers with common mental disorders: secondary analysis from a randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2014;4(3):e004321.
Common mental disorders (CMDs) are among the leading causes of sick leave, and more knowledge on factors related to work participation and return-to-work (RTW) in CMDs is needed. The aim of this study was to investigate RTW-expectations and illness perceptions as predictors of benefit recipiency in CMDs.
Study participants were enrolled in a randomised controlled trial and reported CMDs as a main obstacle for work participation. Three prespecified subgroups were included: people at risk of going on sick leave, people on sick leave (>3 weeks) or people on long-term benefits. Baseline questionnaire data and registry data at baseline and 6 months were used to investigate predictors of benefit recipiency at 6-month follow-up. Benefit recipiency included sickness benefits, disability pension, work assessment allowance and unemployment benefits.
In this study, uncertain and negative RTW-expectations were strong predictors of benefit recipiency at 6 months follow-up. Illness perceptions predicted benefit recipiency in the unadjusted model, but not in the fully adjusted model. In the subgroup on sick leave, uncertain and negative RTW-expectations predicted benefit recipiency, while in the subgroup of people at risk of going on sick leave, negative RTW-expectations predicted benefit recipiency. In the subgroup on long-term benefits, only female gender predicted benefit recipiency.
For people with CMDs, uncertain and negative RTW-expectations predict later benefit recipiency, and expectations seem particularly important for those at risk of or on sick leave. For those at risk of sick leave, benefit recipiency at follow-up denoted a transition onto sick leave or long-term benefit, while those on sick leave had remained so or were receiving long-term benefits. Addressing RTW-expectations in occupational healthcare services or vocational rehabilitation might be beneficial in early stages or even prior to a sick leave episode.
Trial registration, NCT01146730.
PMCID: PMC3948454  PMID: 24589824
17.  Maternal common mental disorders and infant development in Ethiopia: the P-MaMiE Birth Cohort 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:693.
Chronicity and severity of early exposure to maternal common mental disorders (CMD) has been associated with poorer infant development in high-income countries. In low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs), perinatal CMD is inconsistently associated with infant development, but the impact of severity and persistence has not been examined.
A nested population-based cohort of 258 pregnant women was identified from the Perinatal Maternal Mental Disorder in Ethiopia (P-MaMiE) study, and 194 (75.2%) were successfully followed up until the infants were 12 months of age. Maternal CMD was measured in pregnancy and at two and 12 months postnatal using the WHO Self-Reporting Questionnaire, validated for use in this setting. Infant outcomes were evaluated using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
Antenatal maternal CMD symptoms were associated with poorer infant motor development (β^ -0.20; 95% CI: -0.37 to -0.03), but this became non-significant after adjusting for confounders. Postnatal CMD symptoms were not associated with any domain of infant development. There was evidence of a dose-response relationship between the number of time-points at which the mother had high levels of CMD symptoms (SRQ ≥ 6) and impaired infant motor development (β^ = -0.80; 95%CI -2.24, 0.65 for ante- or postnatal CMD only, β^ = -4.19; 95%CI -8.60, 0.21 for ante- and postnatal CMD, compared to no CMD; test-for-trend χ213.08(1), p < 0.001). Although this association became non-significant in the fully adjusted model, the β^ coefficients were unchanged indicating that the relationship was not confounded. In multivariable analyses, lower socio-economic status and lower infant weight-for-age were associated with significantly lower scores on both motor and cognitive developmental scales. Maternal experience of physical violence was significantly associated with impaired cognitive development.
The study supports the hypothesis that it is the accumulation of risk exposures across time rather than early exposure to maternal CMD per se that is more likely to affect child development. Further investigation of the impact of chronicity of maternal CMD upon child development in LAMICs is indicated. In the Ethiopian setting, poverty, interpersonal violence and infant undernutrition should be targets for interventions to reduce the loss of child developmental potential.
PMCID: PMC3091583  PMID: 21073710
18.  The contribution of work and non-work stressors to common mental disorders in the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 
Psychological Medicine  2011;42(4):829-842.
Evidence for an effect of work stressors on common mental disorders (CMD) has increased over the past decade. However, studies have not considered whether the effects of work stressors on CMD remain after taking co-occurring non-work stressors into account.
Data were from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, a national population survey of participants ⩾16 years living in private households in England. This paper analyses data from employed working age participants (N=3383: 1804 males; 1579 females). ICD-10 diagnoses for depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, panic or mixed anxiety and depression in the past week were derived using a structured diagnostic interview. Questionnaires assessed self-reported work stressors and non-work stressors.
The effects of work stressors on CMD were not explained by co-existing non-work stressors. We found independent effects of work and non-work stressors on CMD. Job stress, whether conceptualized as job strain or effort–reward imbalance, together with lower levels of social support at work, recent stressful life events, domestic violence, caring responsibilities, lower levels of non-work social support, debt and poor housing quality were all independently associated with CMD. Social support at home and debt did not influence the effect of work stressors on CMD.
Non-work stressors do not appear to make people more susceptible to work stressors; both contribute to CMD. Tackling workplace stress is likely to benefit employee psychological health even if the employee's home life is stressful but interventions incorporating non-work stressors may also be effective.
PMCID: PMC3297357  PMID: 21896237
Common mental disorders; life events; non-work stressors; social support; work stressors
19.  Types of Social Capital and Mental Disorder in Deprived Urban Areas: A Multilevel Study of 40 Disadvantaged London Neighbourhoods 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e80127.
To examine the extent to which individual and ecological-level cognitive and structural social capital are associated with common mental disorder (CMD), the role played by physical characteristics of the neighbourhood in moderating this association, and the longitudinal change of the association between ecological level cognitive and structural social capital and CMD.
Cross-sectional and longitudinal study of 40 disadvantaged London neighbourhoods. We used a contextual measure of the physical characteristics of each neighbourhood to examine how the neighbourhood moderates the association between types of social capital and mental disorder. We analysed the association between ecological-level measures of social capital and CMD longitudinally.
4,214 adults aged 16-97 (44.4% men) were randomly selected from 40 disadvantaged London neighbourhoods.
Main Outcome Measures
General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12).
Structural rather than cognitive social capital was significantly associated with CMD after controlling for socio-demographic variables. However, the two measures of structural social capital used, social networks and civic participation, were negatively and positively associated with CMD respectively. ‘Social networks’ was negatively associated with CMD at both the individual and ecological levels. This result was maintained when contextual aspects of the physical environment (neighbourhood incivilities) were introduced into the model, suggesting that ‘social networks’ was independent from characteristics of the physical environment. When ecological-level longitudinal analysis was conducted, ‘social networks’ was not statistically significant after controlling for individual-level social capital at follow up.
If we conceptually distinguish between cognitive and structural components as the quality and quantity of social capital respectively, the conclusion of this study is that the quantity rather than quality of social capital is important in relation to CMD at both the individual and ecological levels in disadvantaged urban areas. Thus, policy should support interventions that create and sustain social networks. One of these is explored in this article.
Trial Registration ISRCTN68175121
PMCID: PMC3846561  PMID: 24312459
20.  Do common mental disorders decline over time in TB/HIV co-infected and HIV patients without TB who are on antiretroviral treatment? 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:174.
The relationship between TB/HIV co-infection and common mental disorders (CMD) is not well investigated. A follow up study was conducted to assess the change in CMD over a 6-months period and its predictors among TB/HIV co-infected and HIV patients without TB in Ethiopia.
A longitudinal study was conducted in 2009. A total of 465 HIV/AIDS patients without TB and 124 TB/HIV co-infected patients from four antiretroviral treatment (ART) centers in Ethiopia were recruited to assess CMD and quality of life (QoL). CMD and QoL were assessed at baseline and at six month using the Kessler-10 scale and the short Amharic version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument for HIV clients (WHOQOL HIV-Bref) respectively. Multivariate analysis was conducted using generalized estimating equations (GEE) using STATA to assess change in CMD and its predictors.
At the 6 month, 540 (97 TB/HIV co-infected and 455 HIV/AIDS patients without TB) patients completed the follow up and 8.6% (21% among TB/HIV co-infected and 2.2% among HIV patients without TB) lost to follow-up.
At baseline, 54.4% of TB/HIV co-infected patients had mild to severe mental disorder compared to 41.2% among HIV patients without TB. At the six month follow up, 18.1% of TB/HIV co-infected patients had mild to severe mental disorder compared to 21.8% among HIV patients without TB. The decline of the prevalence of any form of metal disorder was 36.3% among TB/HIV co-infected patients compared to 19.4% among HIV patients without TB (P<0.001).
QoL was strongly associated with CMD in TB/HIV co-infected patients and HIV patients without TB (β = −0.04, P<0.001) after controlling the effect of several confounding variables such as sex, income, WHO disease stage, duration on ART, CD4 lymphocyte count, adherence to ART and social support.
The prevalence of CMD has significantly reduced particularly among TB/HIV co-infected patients over a 6 months period. Poor QoL is the major independent predictors of CMD. We recommend integration of mental health services in TB/HIV programs. Training of health care providers at TB/HIV clinics could help to screen and treat CMD among TB/HIV co-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3702441  PMID: 23802647
TB/HIV Co-infection; Quality of Life; Common Mental Disorders; Ethiopia
21.  Stressors and common mental disorder in informal carers – An analysis of the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007 
This study investigates potential explanations of the association between caring and common mental disorder, using the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. We examined whether carers are more exposed to other stressors additional to caring – such as domestic violence and debt – and if so whether this explains their elevated rates of mental disorder. We analysed differences between carers and non-carers in common mental disorders (CMD), suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, recent stressors, social support, and social participation. We used multivariate models to investigate whether differences between carers and non-carers in identifiable stressors and supports explained the association between caring and CMD, as measured by the revised Clinical Interview Schedule.
The prevalence of CMD (OR = 1.64 95% CI 1.37–1.97), suicidal thoughts in the last week (OR = 2.71 95% CI 1.31–5.62) and fatigue (OR = 1.33 95% CI 1.14–1.54) was increased in carers. However, caring remained independently associated with CMD (OR = 1.58 1.30–1.91) after adjustment for other stressors and social support. Thus caring itself is associated with increased risk of CMD that is not explained by other identified social stressors. Carers should be recognized as being at increased risk of CMD independent of the other life stressors they have to deal with. Interventions aimed at a direct reduction of the stressfulness of caring are indicated. However, carers also reported higher rates of debt problems and domestic violence and perceived social support was slightly lower in carers than in non-carers. So carers are also more likely to experience stressors other than caring and it is likely that they will need support not only aimed at their caring role, but also at other aspects of their lives.
•Caring is associated with an increased risk of depressive and anxiety disorders and suicidal ideation.•The increased risk of mental-ill-health in carers is not explained by increased life events and low social support.•Carers are exposed to more debt and domestic violence than the general population.•Carers should be recognized as being at increased risk of CMD independent of the other life stressors they have to deal with.•Interventions aimed at a direct reduction of the stressfulness of caring are indicated.
PMCID: PMC4224501  PMID: 25259657
Carers; Mental health; Stress; Common mental disorders; Social support; Suicide; Socioeconomic status
22.  The effectiveness of problem solving therapy in deprived South African communities: results from a pilot study 
BMC Psychiatry  2011;11:156.
The majority of South Africans with a DSM-IV diagnosis receive no treatment for their mental health problems. There is a move to simplify treatment for common mental disorders (CMDs) in order to ease access. Brief problem solving therapy (PST) might fill the treatment gap for CMD's in deprived communities in South Africa. This pilot study evaluates the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of this PST program for CMD's in deprived communities around Cape Town.
A Dutch problem solving program was adapted and translated into English, Xhosa and Afrikaans and thereafter implemented in townships around Cape Town. An initial attempt to recruit participants for online PST proved difficult, and so the program was adapted to a booklet format. Volunteers experiencing psychological distress were invited to participate in the either individually or group delivered 5-week during self-help program. To evaluate the effectiveness, psychological distress was administered through self-report questionnaires. After completion of the intervention participants also rated the program on various acceptability aspects.
Of 103 participants, 73 completed 5 weeks of brief PST in a booklet/workshop format. There were significantly more dropouts in those who used the booklet individually than in the group. Psychological distress measured on the K-10 and SRQ fell significantly and the program was evaluated positively.
The results suggest that brief problem solving in a booklet/workshop format may be an effective, feasible and acceptable short-term treatment for people with CMD's in deprived communities. In this setting, group delivery of PST had lower drop-out rates than individual delivery, and was more feasible and acceptable. Randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the effect of brief self-help PST more rigorously.
PMCID: PMC3201896  PMID: 21961801
23.  Prevalence and Correlates of Common Mental Disorders among Mothers of Young Children in Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69088.
Although poor maternal mental health is a major public health problem, with detrimental effects on the individual, her children and society, information on its correlates in low-income countries is sparse.
This study investigates the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) among at-risk mothers, and explores its associations with sociodemographic factors.
This population-based survey of mothers of children aged 0–36 months used the 14-item Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ). Mothers whose response was “yes” to 8 or more items on the scale were defined as “at risk of CMD.”
Of the 1,922 mothers (15–48 years), 28.8% were at risk of CMD. Risk of CMD was associated with verbal abuse, physical abuse, a partner who did not help with the care of the child, being in a polygamous relationship, a partner with low levels of education, and a partner who smoked cigarettes. Cohabiting appeared to be protective.
Taken together, our results indicate the significance of the quality of relations with one’s partner in shaping maternal mental health. The high proportion of mothers who are at risk of CMD emphasizes the importance of developing evidence-based mental health programmes as part of the care package aimed at improving maternal well-being in Tanzania and other similar settings.
PMCID: PMC3700955  PMID: 23844249
24.  Psychological and Social Factors Associated with Late Pregnancy Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Rural Viet Nam: A Population-Based Prospective Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78162.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between psychological and social factors and late pregnancy IDA among pregnant women in rural Viet Nam.
Pregnant women from 50 randomly-selected communes within Ha Nam province were recruited and assessed at 12 - 20 weeks gestation (Wave 1, W1). They were followed up in the last trimester (Wave 2, W2). IDA was defined as Haemoglobin < 11 g/dL and serum ferritin < 15 ng/mL. Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders (CMD) were assessed by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale-Vietnam (EPDS-V). Persistent antenatal CMD was defined as having an EPDS-V score ≥ 4 in both W1 and W2. Hypothesis models were tested by Structural Equation Modeling analyses.
A total of 378 women provided complete data at both W1 and W2. The incidence risk of IDA in the third trimester was 13.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 9.8-16.7). Persistent CMD was found in 16.9% (95% CI: 13.1-20.7) pregnant women and predicted by intimate partner violence, fear of other family members, experience of childhood abuse, coincidental life adversity, and having a preference for the sex of the baby. There was a significant pathway from persistent CMD to IDA in late pregnancy via the length of time that iron supplements had been taken. Receiving advice to take iron supplements and higher household wealth index were indirectly related to lower risk of late pregnancy IDA. Early pregnancy IDA and being multi-parous also contributed to late pregnancy IDA.
Antenatal IDA and CMD are prevalent public health problems among women in Viet Nam. The link between them suggests that while direct recommendations to use iron supplements are important, the social factors associated with common mental disorders should be addressed in antenatal care in order to improve the health of pregnant women and their infants.
PMCID: PMC3805582  PMID: 24167605
25.  Recurrence of sickness absence due to common mental disorders 
Common mental disorders (CMDs) are an important cause of work disability. Although CMDs are known to have high recurrence rates, little is known about the recurrence of sickness absence due to CMDs. This study examines the recurrence risk of sickness absence due to CMDs.
A cohort of 9,904 employees with a sickness absence due to CMDs, working in the Dutch Post or Telecommunication company, was studied over a 7-year period. Recurrence was defined as the start of at least one new episode of sickness absence with CMDs after complete return to work for at least 28 days. The recurrence density (RD) of sickness absence with CMDs was calculated per 1,000 person-years.
Of the 9,904 employees with a first absence due to CMDs 1,925 (19%) had a recurrence, 90% of recurrences occurred within 3 years. The RD of sickness absence due to CMDs was 84.5 employees per 1,000 person-years (95% CI = 80.7–88.3). The RD of sickness absence due to CMDs was similar in women and in men. In men, depressive symptoms were related to higher recurrence of sickness absence due to CMDs than distress symptoms and adjustment disorders. In women, no difference by diagnostic category was found.
Employees with a previous episode of sickness absence with CMDs are at increased risk of recurrent sickness absence with CMDs. Relapse prevention consultations are recommended for a period of 3 years after return to work.
PMCID: PMC3020308  PMID: 20449605
Recurrent sickness absence; Common mental disorders; Stress-related symptoms; Depressive symptoms; Anxiety symptoms

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