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Common mental disorders (CMDs) are associated with occupational impairment and the receipt of disability benefits (DBs). Little is known about the relationship between personality disorders (PDs) and work disability, and whether the association between CMDs and work disability is affected by the presence of co-morbid PDs. The aim of this study was to examine the association between DB and individual categories of PDs, with special attention to the effect of co-morbid CMDs on this association.
The association between DB and PD was examined using data from the 2000 British National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity. Probable PD caseness was identified using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (SCID-II) screening questionnaire. The impact of CMDs, assessed with the revised version of the Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R), was examined as a covariate and in a stratified analysis of co-morbidity. Other covariates included sociodemographic factors, long-standing illnesses and substance use.
Probable PD was associated with DB, with the strongest associations found for borderline, dependent and schizotypal PD. Antisocial PD was not associated with DB. The relationship between PD and DB was strongly modified by CMD, reducing the association from an odds ratio (OR) of 2.84 to 1.34 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.79)]. In the stratified analysis, co-morbid PD and CMD showed a stronger association with DB than PD without CMD but, when fully adjusted, this effect was not significantly different from the association between CMD without PD.
Individuals screening positive for PD are more likely to experience severe occupational outcomes, especially in the presence of co-morbid CMD.
The beneficial outcomes associated with moderate compared with low alcohol intake or abstinence may be due to the inclusion of people as ‘low consumers’, who have stopped consumption because of poor health. We investigated the association between alcohol abstinence and symptoms of common mental disorder and personality disorder, distinguishing between lifelong abstinence and abstinence following previous consumption.
Analyses were based on the British National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity 2000, which sampled 8580 residents aged 16–74 years. Hazardous drinking (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) was excluded. Symptoms of common mental disorder (depression/anxiety) were identified by the Clinical Interview Schedule. The screening questionnaire of the Structured Clinical Interview for Axis II Personality Disorders was used to identify potential personality disorder. Self-reported alcohol abstinence was divided into lifelong abstinence and previous consumption. Previous consumers were asked why they had stopped. Covariates included socio-economic status, social activity and general health status.
After adjustment, alcohol abstinence was associated with both common mental disorder symptoms and any personality disorder, but only for previous consumers, in whom odds ratios were 1.69 (95% CI 1.23–2.32) and 1.45 (95% CI 1.09–1.94). Associations were non-specific, being apparent for most individual mental disorder symptoms and personality disorder categories. More detailed analysis indicated that associations were again limited to previous consumers who reported ceasing alcohol consumption for health reasons.
Worse mental health in low alcohol consumers, particularly those who have previously ceased for health reasons, should be taken into account when interpreting associations between moderate (compared with low) alcohol consumption and beneficial health outcomes.
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