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Current information about the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the general adult population of the Republic of Ireland is lacking. In this study, we examined the prevalence of 12 common mental disorders, the proportion of adults who screened positive for any disorder, the sociodemographic factors associated with meeting criteria for a disorder and the associations between each disorder and history of attempted suicide.
A non-probability nationally representative sample (N = 1110) of adults living in Ireland completed self-report measures of 12 mental health disorders. Effect sizes were calculated using odds ratios from logistic regression models, and population attributable risk fractions (PAFs) were estimated to quantify the associations between each disorder and attempted suicide.
Prevalence rates ranged from 15.0% (insomnia disorder) to 1.7% (histrionic personality disorder). Overall, 42.5% of the sample met criteria for a mental health disorder, and 11.1% had a lifetime history of attempted suicide. Younger age, being a shift worker and trauma exposure were independently associated with a higher likelihood of having a mental health disorder, while being in university was associated with a lower likelihood of having a disorder. ICD-11 complex posttraumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and insomnia disorder had the highest PAFs for attempted suicide.
Mental health disorder prevalence in Ireland is relatively high compared to international estimates. The findings are discussed in relation to important mental health policy implications.
The current study argues that population prevalence estimates for mental health disorders, or changes in mean scores over time, may not adequately reflect the heterogeneity in mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the population.
The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, nationally representative, online survey of UK adults. The current study analysed data from its first three waves of data collection: Wave 1 (March 2020, N = 2025), Wave 2 (April 2020, N = 1406) and Wave 3 (July 2020, N = 1166). Anxiety-depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale (a composite measure of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7) and COVID-19-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the International Trauma Questionnaire. Changes in mental health outcomes were modelled across the three waves. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify subgroups of individuals with different trajectories of change in anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Latent class membership was regressed on baseline characteristics.
Overall prevalence of anxiety-depression remained stable, while COVID-19 PTSD reduced between Waves 2 and 3. Heterogeneity in mental health response was found, and hypothesised classes reflecting (i) stability, (ii) improvement and (iii) deterioration in mental health were identified. Psychological factors were most likely to differentiate the improving, deteriorating and high-stable classes from the low-stable mental health trajectories.
A low-stable profile characterised by little-to-no psychological distress (‘resilient’ class) was the most common trajectory for both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Monitoring these trajectories is necessary moving forward, in particular for the ~30% of individuals with increasing anxiety-depression levels.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency has led to numerous attempts to assess the impact of the pandemic on population mental health. The findings indicate an increase in depression and anxiety but have been limited by the lack of specificity about which aspects of the pandemic (e.g. viral exposure or economic threats) have led to adverse mental health outcomes.
Network analyses were conducted on data from wave 1 (N = 2025, recruited 23 March–28 March 2020) and wave 2 (N = 1406, recontacts 22 April–1 May 2020) of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium Study, an online longitudinal survey of a representative sample of the UK adult population. Our models included depression (PHQ-9), generalized anxiety (GAD-7) and trauma symptoms (ITQ); and measures of COVID-specific anxiety, exposure to the virus in self and close others, as well as economic loss due to the pandemic.
A mixed graphical model at wave 1 identified a potential pathway from economic adversity to anxiety symptoms via COVID-specific anxiety. There was no association between viral exposure and symptoms. Ising network models using clinical cut-offs for symptom scores at each wave yielded similar findings, with the exception of a modest effect of viral exposure on trauma symptoms at wave 1 only. Anxiety and depression symptoms formed separate clusters at wave 1 but not wave 2.
The psychological impact of the pandemic evolved in the early phase of lockdown. COVID-related anxiety may represent the mechanism through which economic consequences of the pandemic are associated with psychiatric symptoms.
In the midst of the COVID–19 epidemic, Spain was one of the countries with the highest number of infections and a high mortality rate. The threat of the virus and consequences of the pandemic have a discernible impact on the mental health of citizens. This study aims to (a) evaluate the levels of anxiety, depression and well-being in a large Spanish sample during the confinement, (b) identify potential predictor variables associated to experiencing both clinical levels of distress and well-being in a sample of 2,122 Spanish people. By using descriptive analyses and logistic regression results revealed high rates of depression, anxiety and well-being. Specifically, our findings revealed that high levels of anxiety about COVID–19, increased substance use and loneliness as the strongest predictors of distress, while gross annual incomes and loneliness were strongest predictors of well-being. Finding of the present study provide a better insight about psychological adjustment to a pandemic and allows us to identify which population groups are at risk of experiencing higher levels of distress and which factors contribute to greater well-being, which could help in the treatments and prevention in similar stressful and traumatic situations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis, necessitating drastic changes to living conditions, social life, personal freedom and economic activity. No study has yet examined the presence of psychiatric symptoms in the UK population under similar conditions.
We investigated the prevalence of COVID-19-related anxiety, generalised anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms in the UK population during an early phase of the pandemic, and estimated associations with variables likely to influence these symptoms.
Between 23 and 28 March 2020, a quota sample of 2025 UK adults aged 18 years and older, stratified by age, gender and household income, was recruited by online survey company Qualtrics. Participants completed standardised measures of depression, generalised anxiety and trauma symptoms relating to the pandemic. Bivariate and multivariate associations were calculated for demographic and health-related variables.
Higher levels of anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms were reported compared with previous population studies, but not dramatically so. Anxiety or depression and trauma symptoms were predicted by young age, presence of children in the home, and high estimates of personal risk. Anxiety and depression were also predicted by low income, loss of income and pre-existing health conditions in self and others. Specific anxiety about COVID-19 was greater in older participants.
This study showed a modest increase in the prevalence of mental health problems in the early stages of the pandemic, and these problems were predicted by several specific COVID-related variables. Further similar surveys, particularly of those with children at home, are required as the pandemic progresses.
Studies have shown that there are overlapping traits and symptoms between autism and psychosis but no study to date has addressed this association from an epidemiological approach in the adult general population. Furthermore, it is not clear whether autistic traits are associated with specific symptoms of psychosis or with psychosis in general. We assess these associations for the first time by using the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 and the APMS 2014, predicting an association between autistic traits and probable psychosis, and specific associations between autistic traits and paranoia and strange experiences.
Participants (N = 7353 in 2007 and 7500 in 2014) completed the Psychosis Screening Questionnaire (PSQ) and a 20-item version of the Autism Quotient (AQ-20). Binomial logistic regressions were performed using AQ-20 as the independent variable and probable psychosis and specific symptoms as dependent variables.
In the APMS 2007 dataset, significant associations were found between autism traits and probable psychosis, paranoia, thought insertion, and strange experiences. These results were replicated in APMS 2014 but with the additional significant association between autistic traits and hallucinations. Participants in the highest quartile of the AQ-20, compared with the lowest quartile, had an increased risk of probable psychosis of odds ratio (OR) = 15.5 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.57–52.6] in APMS 2007 and OR = 22.5 (95% CI 7.64–66.3) in APMS 2014.
Autistic traits are strongly associated with probable psychosis and psychotic experiences with the exception of mania. Limitations such as the cross-sectional nature of the study are discussed.
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