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Although poverty associated with severe mental illness (SMI) has been documented in many studies, little long-term evidence of social drift exists. This study aimed to unravel the poverty transitions among persons with SMI in a fast change community in China.
Two mental health surveys, using the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10), were conducted in the same six townships of Xinjin county, Chengdu, China in 1994 and 2015. A total of 308 persons with SMI identified in 1994 were followed up in 2015. The profiles of poverty transitions were identified and regression modelling methods were applied to determine the predictive factors of poverty transitions.
The poverty rate of persons with SMI increased from 39.9% to 49.4% in 1994 and 2015. A larger proportion of them had fallen into poverty (27.3%) rather than moved out of it (17.8%). Those persons with SMI who had lost work ability, had physical illness and more severe mental disabilities in 1994, as well as those who had experienced negative changes on these factors were more likely to live in persistent poverty or fall into poverty. Higher education level and medical treatment were major protective factors of falling into poverty.
This study shows long-term evidence on the social drift of persons with SMI during the period of rapid social development in China. Further targeted poverty alleviation interventions should be crucial for improving treatment and mental recovery and alleviating poverty related to SMI.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
Long-term mortality and the risk factors for premature death among
patients with schizophrenia living in rural communities are unknown.
To explore the 10-year mortality and its risk factors among patients with
We used data from a 10-year prospective follow-up study (1994–2004) of
mortality among people with schizophrenia, and death registration data
for Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
The mortality rate was 2228 per 100 000 person-years during follow-up.
Both all-cause mortality and suicide rates were significantly greater in
male than in female patients. Age at illness onset (>45 years),
duration of illness (⩾10 years), age greater than 50 years, physical
illness, inability to work, male gender, and never having received
treatment were identified as independent predictors of increased
Higher mortality rates in male patients may contribute to the higher
prevalence of schizophrenia in women compared with men in China. The
findings of risk factors for mortality should be taken into account when
developing interventions to improve outcomes among people with
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