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There are no previous whole-country studies on mental health and
relationships with general health in intellectual disability populations;
study results vary.
To determine the prevalence of mental health conditions and relationships
with general health in a total population with and without intellectual
Ninety-four per cent completed Scotland's Census 2011. Data on
intellectual disabilities, mental health and general health were
extracted, and the association between them was investigated.
A total of 26 349/5 295 403 (0.5%) had intellectual disabilities. In
total, 12.8% children, 23.4% adults and 27.2% older adults had mental
health conditions compared with 0.3, 5.3 and 4.5% of the general
population. Intellectual disabilities predicted mental health conditions;
odds ratio (OR)=7.1 (95% CI 6.8–7.3). General health was substantially
poorer and associated with mental health conditions; fair health OR=1.8
(95% CI 1.7–1.9), bad/very bad health OR=4.2 (95% CI 3.9–4.6).
These large-scale, whole-country study findings are important, given the
previously stated lack of confidence in comparative prevalence results,
and the need to plan services accordingly.
Few studies have directly compared men's and women's perceptions of paid employment; in the past, the sociology of paid work concentrated on men (Phelan et al. 1993). More recently, studies have included female as well as male employees but are often flawed by implicit assumptions about the importance of different social ‘roles’ for men and women. While paid work is seen as central to men's attitudes and behaviour both in and out of the workplace, for women personal characteristics and family circumstances are often deemed to be more important, with paid work conceptualised as an ‘additional’ role rather than an indicator of status, income and class position (Arber 1991; Feldberg and Glenn 1979). Sophisticated attempts to compare attitudes of men and women to paid work have been hindered by the gendered structure of the labour market. Statements about gender differences in general population samples are problematic because women and men occupy different jobs with varying conditions, rewards and demands. Thus, it is difficult to tell whether any observed ‘gender’ differences in perceptions of paid work are really ‘job’ differences (Lefkowitz 1994).
Dietary data from 15-year-old adolescents participating in the West of Scotland Twenty-07 study were examined in order to describe current eating patterns and food habits. Comparison of the data with a ‘healthy eating’ index showed that less than one-third of the sample were eating a diet similar to that promoted by local health education campaigns, Multivariate analysis showed that adolescents from non-manual and wealthier families, non-smokers, and females were more likely to be classified as ‘healthy eaters’. Comparison of the data with that collected from a 35-year-old cohort in the same study showed that significantly fewer 15-year-olds were likely to consume diets associated with long-term health.
In Britain there has been a long tradition of research into associations between area of residence and health. Rarely has this involved investigating socio-economic or cultural features of areas that might influence health; usually studies use area level data, for example about specific pathogens or about levels of deprivation, as surrogates for individual level data, rather than being interested in the areas themselves. This paper reviews the literature on the relationship between area and health. It advocates directly studying features of the local social and physical environment which might promote or inhibit health, illustrating this approach with some findings from a study in the West of Scotland, and suggests that improvements in public health might be achieved by focusing on places as well as on people.