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1.  Response bias, weighting adjustments, and design effects in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) 
The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) is a multi-component epidemiological and neurobiological study designed to generate actionable recommendations to reduce U.S. Army suicides and increase knowledge about determinants of suicidality. Three Army STARRS component studies are large-scale surveys: one of new soldiers prior to beginning Basic Combat Training (BCT; n=50,765 completed self-administered questionnaires); another of other soldiers exclusive of those in BCT (n=35,372); and a third of three Brigade Combat Teams about to deploy to Afghanistan who are being followed multiple times after returning from deployment (n= 9,421). Although the response rates in these surveys are quite good (72.0-90.8%), questions can be raised about sample biases in estimating prevalence of mental disorders and suicidality, the main outcomes of the surveys based on evidence that people in the general population with mental disorders are under-represented in community surveys. This paper presents the results of analyses designed to determine whether such bias exists in the Army STARRS surveys and, if so, to develop weights to correct for these biases. Data are also presented on sample inefficiencies introduced by weighting and sample clustering and on analyses of the trade-off between bias and efficiency in weight trimming.
doi:10.1002/mpr.1399
PMCID: PMC3992816  PMID: 24318218
Suicide; mental disorders; U.S. Army; epidemiologic research design; design effects; sample bias; sample weights; survey design efficiency; survey sampling
2.  Design of the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) 
The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) is a multi-component epidemiological and neurobiological study designed to generate actionable evidence-based recommendations to reduce U.S. Army suicides and increase basic knowledge about the determinants of suicidality. This report presents an overview of the designs of the six component Army STARRS studies. These include: an integrated study of historical administrative data systems (HADS) designed to provide data on significant administrative predictors of suicides among the more than 1.6 million soldiers on active duty in 2004–2009; retrospective case-control studies of suicide attempts and fatalities; separate large-scale cross-sectional studies of new soldiers (i.e., those just beginning Basic Combat Training [BCT], who completed self-administered questionnaires [SAQ] and neurocognitive tests and provided blood samples) and soldiers exclusive of those in BCT (who completed SAQs); a pre-post deployment study of soldiers in three Brigade Combat Teams about to deploy to Afghanistan (who completed SAQs and provided blood samples) followed multiple times after returning from deployment; and a platform for following up Army STARRS participants who have returned to civilian life. DoD/Army administrative data records are linked with SAQ data to examine prospective associations between self-reports and subsequent suicidality. The presentation closes with a discussion of the methodological advantages of cross-component coordination.
doi:10.1002/mpr.1401
PMCID: PMC3992857  PMID: 24318217
Suicide; mental disorders; U.S. Army; epidemiologic research design; design effects; sample bias; sample weights; survey design efficiency; survey sampling
3.  Field procedures in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) 
The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) is a multi-component epidemiological and neurobiological study of unprecedented size and complexity designed to generate actionable evidence-based recommendations to reduce U.S. Army suicides and increase basic knowledge about determinants of suicidality by carrying out coordinated component studies. A number of major logistical challenges were faced in implementing these studies. The current report presents an overview of the approaches taken to meet these challenges, with a special focus on the field procedures used to implement the component studies. As detailed in the paper, these challenges were addressed at the onset of the initiative by establishing an Executive Committee, a Data Coordination Center (the Survey Research Center [SRC] at the University of Michigan), and study-specific design and analysis teams that worked with staff on instrumentation and field procedures. SRC staff, in turn, worked with the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (ODUSA) and local Army Points of Contact (POCs) to address logistical issues and facilitate data collection. These structures, coupled with careful fieldworker training, supervision, and piloting contributed to the major Army STARRS data collection efforts having higher response rates than previous large-scale studies of comparable military samples.
doi:10.1002/mpr.1400
PMCID: PMC3992884  PMID: 24038395
Suicide; mental disorders; U.S. Army; epidemiologic research design; design effects; sample bias; sample weights; survey design efficiency; survey sampling
4.  Clinical reappraisal of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Screening Scales (CIDI-SC) in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) 
A clinical reappraisal study was carried out in conjunction with the Army STARRS All-Army Study (AAS) to evaluate concordance of DSM-IV diagnoses based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview screening scales (CIDI-SC) and PTSD Checklist (PCL) with diagnoses based on independent clinical reappraisal interviews (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [SCID]). Diagnoses included: lifetime mania/hypomania, panic disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder; 6-month adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and 30-day major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and substance (alcohol or drug) use disorder (abuse or dependence). The sample (n=460) was weighted for over-sampling CIDI-SC/PCL screened positives. Diagnostic thresholds were set to equalize false positives and false negatives. Good individual-level concordance was found between CIDI-SC/PCL and SCID diagnoses at these thresholds (AUC = .69–.79). AUC was considerably higher for continuous than dichotomous screening scale scores (AUC = .80–.90), arguing for substantive analyses using not only dichotomous case designations but also continuous measures of predicted probabilities of clinical diagnoses.
doi:10.1002/mpr.1398
PMCID: PMC4027964  PMID: 24318219
Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI); CIDI Screening Scales (CIDI-SC); diagnostic concordance; PTSD Checklist (PCL); screening scales; validity
5.  The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) 
Psychiatry  2014;77(2):107-119.
Importance/Objective
Although the suicide rate in the U.S. Army has traditionally been below age-gender matched civilian rates, it has climbed steadily since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and since 2008 has exceeded the demographically matched civilian rate. The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) is a multicomponent epidemiological and neurobiological study designed to generate actionable evidence-based recommendations to reduce Army suicides and increase knowledge about risk and resilience factors for suicidality and its psychopathological correlates. This paper presents an overview of the Army STARRS component study designs and of recent findings.
Design/Setting/Participants/Intervention
Army STARRS includes six main component studies: (1) the Historical Administrative Data Study (HADS) of Army and Department of Defense (DoD) administrative data systems (including records of suicidal behaviors) for all soldiers on active duty 2004–2009 aimed at finding administrative record predictors of suicides; (2) retrospective case-control studies of fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors (each planned to have n = 150 cases and n = 300 controls); (3) a study of new soldiers (n = 50,765 completed surveys) assessed just before beginning basic combat training (BCT) with self-administered questionnaires (SAQ), neurocognitive tests, and blood samples; (4) a cross-sectional study of approximately 35,000 (completed SAQs) soldiers representative of all other (i.e., exclusive of BCT) active duty soldiers; (5) a pre-post deployment study (with blood samples) of soldiers in brigade combat teams about to deploy to Afghanistan (n = 9,421 completed baseline surveys), with sub-samples assessed again one, three, and nine months after returning from deployment; and (6) a pilot study to follow-up SAQ respondents transitioning to civilian life. Army/DoD administrative data are being linked prospectively to the large-scale survey samples to examine predictors of subsequent suicidality and related mental health outcomes.
Main outcome measures
Measures (self-report and administratively recorded) of suicidal behaviors and their psychopathological correlates.
Results
Component study cooperation rates are comparatively high. Sample biases are relatively small. Inefficiencies introduced into parameter estimates by using nonresponse adjustment weights and time-space clustering are small. Initial findings show that the suicide death rate, which rose over 2004–2009, increased for those deployed, those never deployed, and those previously deployed. Analyses of administrative records show that those deployed or previously deployed were at greater suicide risk. Receiving a waiver to enter the Army was not associated with increased risk. However, being demoted in the past two years was associated with increased risk. Time in current deployment, length of time since return from most recent deployment, total number of deployments, and time interval between most recent deployments (known as dwell time) were not associated with suicide risk. Initial analyses of survey data show that 13.9% of currently active non-deployed regular Army soldiers considered suicide at some point in their lifetime, while 5.3% had made a suicide plan, and 2.4% had attempted suicide. Importantly, 47–60% of these outcomes first occurred prior to enlistment. Prior mental disorders, in particular major depression and intermittent explosive disorder, were the strongest predictors of these self-reported suicidal behaviors. Most onsets of plans-attempts among ideators (58.3–63.3%) occurred within the year of onset of ideation. About 25.1% of non-deployed U.S. Army personnel met 30-day criteria for a DSM-IV anxiety, mood, disruptive behavior, or substance disorder (15.0% an internalizing disorder; 18.4% an externalizing disorder) and 11.1% for multiple disorders. Importantly, three-fourths of these disorders had pre-enlistment onsets.
Conclusions
Integration across component studies creates strengths going well beyond those in conventional applications of the same individual study designs. These design features create a strong methodological foundation from which Army STARRS can pursue its substantive research goals. The early findings reported here illustrate the importance of the study and its approach as a model of studying rare events particularly of national security concern. Continuing analyses of the data will inform suicide prevention for the U.S. Army.
doi:10.1521/psyc.2014.77.2.107
PMCID: PMC4075436  PMID: 24865195
6.  Incidence of Dementia and Cognitive Impairment Not Dementia in the United States 
Annals of neurology  2011;70(3):418-426.
Objective
Estimates of incident dementia, and cognitive impairment, not dementia (CIND) (or the related mild cognitive impairment (MCI)) are important for public health and clinical care policy. In this paper, we report US national incidence rates for dementia and CIND.
Methods
Participants in the Aging, Demographic and Memory Study (ADAMS) were evaluated for cognitive impairment using a comprehensive in-home assessment. A total of 456 individuals age 72 and older, who were not demented at baseline were followed longitudinally from August 2001 to December 2009. An expert consensus panel assigned a diagnosis of normal cognition, CIND, or dementia and its subtypes. Using a population-weighted sample, we estimated the incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), and CIND by age. We also estimated the incidence of progression from CIND to dementia.
Results
The incidence of dementia was 33.3 (s.e. = 4.2) per 1000 person-years and 22.9 (s.e. =2.9) per 1000 person-years for AD. The incidence of CIND was 60.4 (s.e.= 7.2) cases per 1000 person-years. An estimated 120.3 (s.e.=16.9) individuals per 1000 person-years progressed from CIND to dementia. Over a 5.9 year period, about 3.4 million individuals aged 72 and older in the US developed incident dementia; of which approximately 2.3 million developed AD and about 637,000 developed VaD. Over this same period, almost 4.8 million individuals developed incident CIND.
Interpretation
The incidence of CIND is greater than the incidence of dementia, and those with CIND are at high risk of progressing to dementia, making CIND a potentially valuable target for treatments aimed at slowing cognitive decline.
doi:10.1002/ana.22362
PMCID: PMC3139807  PMID: 21425187
7.  National estimates of the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in the United States* 
Several methods of estimating prevalence of dementia are presented. For both Brookmeyer and the Chicago Health and Aging project (CHAP), the estimates of prevalence are derived statistically, forward calculating from incidence and survival figures. Here, the choice of incidence rates upon which to build the estimates may be critical. Brookmeyer used incidence rates from a number of published studies, whereas the CHAP investigators applied the incidence rates observed in their own cohort. The Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS) and the East Boston Senior Health Project (EBSHP) were sample surveys designed to ascertain the prevalence of AD and dementia. ADAMS obtained direct estimates by relying on probability sampling nationwide. EBSHP relied on projection of localized prevalence estimates to the national population. The sampling techniques of ADAMS and EBSHP were rather similar while their disease definitions were not. By contrast, EBSPH and CHAP have similar disease definitions internally, but use different calculation techniques, and yet arrive at similar prevalence estimates, which are considerably greater than those obtained by either Brookmeyer or ADAMS. Choice of disease definition may play the larger role in explaining differences in observed prevalence between these studies.
doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2010.11.007
PMCID: PMC3052294  PMID: 21255744
8.  Life stress and mental disorders in the South African Stress and Health study 
Background
Although stressful life events (SLEs) are associated with psychopathology, the contribution from distal and proximal events and the specificity of their association with common mental disorders require further exploration. We examined the association of recent life events and past adversities to mood, anxiety, substance use and impulse control disorders in South Africa.
Methods
Data were analysed from the South African Stress and Health study, a population-based study of mental disorders in a nationally representative sample of 4 351 adults. Psychiatric disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). This included questions covering early and later SLEs (negative life events, relationship stress, partner violence, social strain and adverse events during childhood) and various socio-demographic variables. Logistic regression models were constructed for 3 957 respondents (2 371 female, 1 586 male) with no missing covariate data, to assess life stress and socio-demographic predictors of 12-month and lifetime disorder.
Results
Recent negative life events and relationship problems were significant predictors of any 12-month disorder and any lifetime disorder. Physical partner violence predicted any lifetime disorder. There was evidence of specificity for the prediction of mood versus anxiety disorders, with childhood adversity specifically associated with mood disorders but not anxiety disorders. Single marital status was the strongest socio-demographic predictor of any 12-month and any lifetime disorder.
Conclusions
Stressful life events, distal and proximal, contribute significantly and independently to the prediction of major psychiatric disorders among South Africans, underscoring the importance of screening adversities in adults with common mental disorders, and of providing appropriate adjunctive interventions.
PMCID: PMC3203647  PMID: 19588801
9.  The South African Stress and Health (SASH) study: 12-month and lifetime prevalence of common mental disorders 
Background
The South African Stress and Health (SASH) study is the first large-scale population-based study of common mental disorders in the country. This paper provides data on the 12-month and lifetime prevalence of these conditions.
Methods
Data from a nationally representative sample of 4 351 adults were analysed. Mental disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). An extensive survey questionnaire detailed contextual and socio-demographic factors, onset and course of mental disorders, and risk factors. Simple weighted cross-tabulation methods were used to estimate prevalence, and logistic regression analysis was used to study correlates of 12-month and lifetime prevalence.
Results
The lifetime prevalence for any disorder was 30.3%, and the most prevalent 12-month and lifetime disorders were the anxiety disorders. The Western Cape had the highest 12-month and lifetime prevalence rates, and the lowest rates were in the Northern Cape.
Conclusions
The SASH study shows relatively high 12-month and lifetime prevalence rates. These findings have significant implications for planning mental health services.
PMCID: PMC3191537  PMID: 19588796
10.  Successful Aging in the United States: Prevalence Estimates From a National Sample of Older Adults 
Objectives.
To estimate the prevalence of successful aging in the United States, with the broad aim of contributing to the dialogue on Rowe and Kahn’s concept of successful aging.
Methods.
Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the prevalence of successful aging was calculated for adults aged 65 years and older at four time points: 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. Successful aging was operationalized in accordance with Rowe and Kahn’s definition, which encompasses disease and disability, cognitive and physical functioning, social connections, and productive activities.
Results.
No greater than 11.9% of older adults were aging “successfully” in any year. The adjusted odds of successful aging were generally lower for those of advanced age, male gender, and lower socioeconomic status. Between 1998 and 2004, the odds of successful aging declined by 25%, after accounting for demographic changes in the older population.
Discussion.
Few older adults meet the criteria put forth in Rowe and Kahn’s definition of successful aging, suggesting the need for modification if the concept is to be used for broad public health purposes. Disparities in successful aging were evident for socially defined subgroups, highlighting the importance of structural factors in enabling successful aging.
doi:10.1093/geronb/gbp101
PMCID: PMC2981444  PMID: 20008481
Health disparities; Healthy aging; Prevalence; Successful aging
11.  LIFETIME PREVALENCE OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS IN SOUTH AFRICA 
BACKGROUND
Data on the lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in South Africa are of interest, not only for the purposes of developing evidence-based mental health policy, but also in view of South Africa’s particular historical and demographic circumstances.
METHODS
A nationally representative household survey was conducted between 2002 and 2004 using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) to generate diagnoses. The dataset analysed included 4351 adult South Africans of all racial groups.
RESULTS
Lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV/CIDI disorders was determined for anxiety disorders (15.8%), mood disorders (9.8%), substance use disorders (13.4%), and any disorder (30.3%). Lifetime prevalence of substance abuse, but not other disorders, differed significantly across racial groups. Median age of onset was earlier for substance use disorders (21) than for anxiety disorders (32) or mood disorders (37).
CONCLUSION
In comparison to data from other countries, South Africa has a particularly high lifetime prevalence of substance use disorders. These disorders have an early age of onset, providing an important target for the planning of local mental health services.
doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.106.029280
PMCID: PMC2718689  PMID: 18245026
12.  Prevalence of Cognitive Impairment without Dementia in the United States 
Annals of internal medicine  2008;148(6):427-434.
Background
Cognitive impairment without dementia is associated with increased risk for disability, increased health care costs, and progression to dementia. There are no population-based prevalence estimates of this condition in the United States.
Objective
To estimate the prevalence of cognitive impairment without dementia in the United States and determine longitudinal cognitive and mortality outcomes.
Design
Longitudinal study from July 2001 to March 2005.
Setting
In-home assessment for cognitive impairment.
Participants
Participants in ADAMS (Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study) who were age 71 years or older drawn from the nationally representative HRS (Health and Retirement Study). Of 1770 selected individuals, 856 completed initial assessment, and of 241 selected individuals, 180 completed 16- to 18-month follow-up assessment.
Measurements
Assessments, including neuropsychological testing, neurologic examination, and clinical and medical history, were used to assign a diagnosis of normal cognition, cognitive impairment without dementia, or dementia. National prevalence rates were estimated by using a population-weighted sample.
Results
In 2002, an estimated 5.4 million people (22.2%) in the United States age 71 years or older had cognitive impairment without dementia. Prominent subtypes included prodromal Alzheimer disease (8.2%) and cerebrovascular disease (5.7%). Among participants who completed follow-up assessments, 11.7% with cognitive impairment without dementia progressed to dementia annually, whereas those with subtypes of prodromal Alzheimer disease and stroke progressed at annual rates of 17% to 20%. The annual death rate was 8% among those with cognitive impairment without dementia and almost 15% among those with cognitive impairment due to medical conditions.
Limitations
Only 56% of the nondeceased target sample completed the initial assessment. Population sampling weights were derived to adjust for at least some of the potential bias due to nonresponse and attrition.
Conclusion
Cognitive impairment without dementia is more prevalent in the United States than dementia, and its subtypes vary in prevalence and outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2670458  PMID: 18347351

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