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To assess whether there is a change in the prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation after the strict lockdown measures due to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain; and to assess which are the factors associated with the incidence of a depressive episode or suicidal ideation during the lockdown.
Data from a longitudinal adult population-based cohort from the provinces of Madrid and Barcelona were analysed (n = 1103). Structured face-to-face home-based interviews (pre-pandemic) and telephone interviews were performed. Both depression and suicidal ideation were assessed through an adaptation of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0). A variety of validated instruments and sociodemographic variables including age, sex, educational level, occupational status, home quietness, screen time, resilience, loneliness, social support, physical activity, disability, economic situation and COVID-19-related information were also considered. Population prevalence estimates and multivariable logistic regressions were computed.
Overall, prevalence rates of depression and suicidal ideation did not change significantly from before to after the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the rates of depression among individuals aged 50+ years showed a significant decrease compared to before the pandemic (from 8.48 to 6.41%; p = 0.01). Younger individuals (odds ratio (OR) = 0.97 per year older; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.95–0.99) and those feeling loneliness (OR = 1.96; 95% CI = 1.42–2.70) during the lockdown were at an increased risk of developing depression during the confinement. Resilience showed a protective effect against the risk of depression (OR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.32–0.66) and suicidal ideation (OR = 0.33; 95% CI = 0.16–0.68), whereas individuals perceiving social support were at a lower risk of developing suicidal thoughts (OR = 0.35; 95% CI = 0.18–0.69).
Continuous reinforcement of mental health preventive and intervening measures during and in the aftermath of the crisis is of global importance, particularly among vulnerable groups who are experiencing the most distress. Future research should strive to evaluate the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis on mental health.
To investigate the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours (STB; i.e. suicidal ideation, plans or attempts) in the Spanish adult general population during the first wave of the Spain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic (March−July, 2020), and to investigate the individual- and population-level impact of relevant distal and proximal STB risk factor domains.
Cross-sectional study design using data from the baseline assessment of an observational cohort study (MIND/COVID project). A nationally representative sample of 3500 non-institutionalised Spanish adults (51.5% female; mean age = 49.6 [s.d. = 17.0]) was taken using dual-frame random digit dialing, stratified for age, sex and geographical area. Professional interviewers carried out computer-assisted telephone interviews (1–30 June 2020). Thirty-day STB was assessed using modified items from the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Distal (i.e. pre-pandemic) risk factors included sociodemographic variables, number of physical health conditions and pre-pandemic lifetime mental disorders; proximal (i.e. pandemic) risk factors included current mental disorders and a range of adverse events-experiences related to the pandemic. Logistic regression was used to investigate individual-level associations (odds ratios [OR]) and population-level associations (population attributable risk proportions [PARP]) between risk factors and 30-day STB. All data were weighted using post-stratification survey weights.
Estimated prevalence of 30-day STB was 4.5% (1.8% active suicidal ideation; n = 5 [0.1%] suicide attempts). STB was 9.7% among the 34.3% of respondents with pre-pandemic lifetime mental disorders, and 1.8% among the 65.7% without any pre-pandemic lifetime mental disorder. Factors significantly associated with STB were pre-pandemic lifetime mental disorders (total PARP = 49.1%) and current mental disorders (total PARP = 58.4%), i.e. major depressive disorder (OR = 6.0; PARP = 39.2%), generalised anxiety disorder (OR = 5.6; PARP = 36.3%), post-traumatic stress disorder (OR = 4.6; PARP = 26.6%), panic attacks (OR = 6.7; PARP = 36.6%) and alcohol/substance use disorder (OR = 3.3; PARP = 5.9%). Pandemic-related adverse events-experiences associated with STB were lack of social support, interpersonal stress, stress about personal health and about the health of loved ones (PARPs 32.7–42.6%%), and having loved ones infected with COVID-19 (OR = 1.7; PARP = 18.8%). Up to 74.1% of STB is potentially attributable to the joint effects of mental disorders and adverse events−experiences related to the pandemic.
STB at the end of the first wave of the Spain COVID-19 pandemic was high, and large proportions of STB are potentially attributable to mental disorders and adverse events−experiences related to the pandemic, including health-related stress, lack of social support and interpersonal stress. There is an urgent need to allocate resources to increase access to adequate mental healthcare, even in times of healthcare system overload.
To test the hypothesis that cognitive impairment in older adults is associated with all-cause mortality risk and the risk increases when the degree of cognitive impairment augments; and then, if this association is confirmed, to report the population-attributable fraction (PAF) of mortality due to cognitive impairment.
A representative random community sample of individuals aged over 55 was interviewed, and 4557 subjects remaining alive at the end of the first year of follow-up were included in the analysis. Instruments used in the assessment included the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), the History and Aetiology Schedule (HAS) and the Geriatric Mental State (GMS)-AGECAT. For the standardised degree of cognitive impairment Perneczky et al's MMSE criteria were applied. Mortality information was obtained from the official population registry. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to test the association between MMSE degrees of cognitive impairment and mortality risk. We also estimated the PAF of mortality due to specific MMSE stages.
Cognitive impairment was associated with mortality risk, the risk increasing in parallel with the degree of cognitive impairment (Hazard ratio, HR: 1.18 in the ‘mild’ degree of impairment; HR: 1.29 in the ‘moderate’ degree; and HR: 2.08 in the ‘severe’ degree). The PAF of mortality due to severe cognitive impairment was 3.49%.
A gradient of increased mortality-risk associated with severity of cognitive impairment was observed. The results support the claim that routine assessment of cognitive function in older adults should be considered in clinical practice.
The relative importance of traumatic events (TEs) in accounting for the social burden of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could vary according to cross-cultural factors. In that sense, no such studies have yet been conducted in the Spanish general population. The present study aims to determine the epidemiology of trauma and PTSD in a Spanish community sample using the randomly selected TEs method.
The European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD)-Spain is a cross-sectional household survey of a representative sample of adult population. Lifetime prevalence of self-reported TEs and lifetime and 12-month prevalence of PTSD were evaluated using the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Reports of PTSD associated with randomly selected TEs were weighted by the individual-level probabilities of TE selection to generate estimates of population-level PTSD risk associated with each TE.
Road accident was the most commonly self-reported TE (14.1%). Sexual assault had the highest conditional risk of PTSD (16.5%). The TEs that contributed most to societal PTSD burden were unexpected death of a loved one (36.4% of all cases) and sexual assault (17.2%). Being female and having a low educational level were associated with low risk of overall TE exposure and being previously married was related to higher risk. Being female was related to high risk of PTSD after experiencing a TE.
Having an accident is commonly reported among Spanish adults, but two TE are responsible for the highest burden associated with PTSD: the unexpected death of someone close and sexual assault. These results can help designing public health interventions to reduce the societal PTSD burden.
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