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Despite their documented efficacy, substantial proportions of patients discontinue antidepressant medication (ADM) without a doctor's recommendation. The current report integrates data on patient-reported reasons into an investigation of patterns and predictors of ADM discontinuation.
Face-to-face interviews with community samples from 13 countries (n = 30 697) in the World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys included n = 1890 respondents who used ADMs within the past 12 months.
10.9% of 12-month ADM users reported discontinuation-based on recommendation of the prescriber while 15.7% discontinued in the absence of prescriber recommendation. The main patient-reported reason for discontinuation was feeling better (46.6%), which was reported by a higher proportion of patients who discontinued within the first 2 weeks of treatment than later. Perceived ineffectiveness (18.5%), predisposing factors (e.g. fear of dependence) (20.0%), and enabling factors (e.g. inability to afford treatment cost) (5.0%) were much less commonly reported reasons. Discontinuation in the absence of prescriber recommendation was associated with low country income level, being employed, and having above average personal income. Age, prior history of psychotropic medication use, and being prescribed treatment from a psychiatrist rather than from a general medical practitioner, in comparison, were associated with a lower probability of this type of discontinuation. However, these predictors varied substantially depending on patient-reported reasons for discontinuation.
Dropping out early is not necessarily negative with almost half of individuals noting they felt better. The study underscores the diverse reasons given for dropping out and the need to evaluate how and whether dropping out influences short- or long-term functioning.
To investigate the occurrence of traumatic stress symptoms (TSS) among healthcare workers active during the COVID-19 pandemic and to obtain insight as to which pandemic-related stressful experiences are associated with onset and persistence of traumatic stress.
This is a multicenter prospective cohort study. Spanish healthcare workers (N = 4,809) participated at an initial assessment (i.e., just after the first wave of the Spain COVID-19 pandemic) and at a 4-month follow-up assessment using web-based surveys. Logistic regression investigated associations of 19 pandemic-related stressful experiences across four domains (infection-related, work-related, health-related and financial) with TSS prevalence, incidence and persistence, including simulations of population attributable risk proportions (PARP).
Thirty-day TSS prevalence at T1 was 22.1%. Four-month incidence and persistence were 11.6% and 54.2%, respectively. Auxiliary nurses had highest rates of TSS prevalence (35.1%) and incidence (16.1%). All 19 pandemic-related stressful experiences under study were associated with TSS prevalence or incidence, especially experiences from the domains of health-related (PARP range 88.4–95.6%) and work-related stressful experiences (PARP range 76.8–86.5%). Nine stressful experiences were also associated with TSS persistence, of which having patient(s) in care who died from COVID-19 had the strongest association. This association remained significant after adjusting for co-occurring depression and anxiety.
TSSs among Spanish healthcare workers active during the COVID-19 pandemic are common and associated with various pandemic-related stressful experiences. Future research should investigate if these stressful experiences represent truly traumatic experiences and carry risk for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic might affect mental health. Data from population-representative panel surveys with multiple waves including pre-COVID data investigating risk and protective factors are still rare.
In a stratified random sample of the German household population (n = 6684), we conducted survey-weighted multiple linear regressions to determine the association of various psychological risk and protective factors assessed between 2015 and 2020 with changes in psychological distress [(PD; measured via Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-4)] from pre-pandemic (average of 2016 and 2019) to peri-pandemic (both 2020 and 2021) time points. Control analyses on PD change between two pre-pandemic time points (2016 and 2019) were conducted. Regularized regressions were computed to inform on which factors were statistically most influential in the multicollinear setting.
PHQ-4 scores in 2020 (M = 2.45) and 2021 (M = 2.21) were elevated compared to 2019 (M = 1.79). Several risk factors (catastrophizing, neuroticism, and asking for instrumental support) and protective factors (perceived stress recovery, positive reappraisal, and optimism) were identified for the peri-pandemic outcomes. Control analyses revealed that in pre-pandemic times, neuroticism and optimism were predominantly related to PD changes. Regularized regression mostly confirmed the results and highlighted perceived stress recovery as most consistent influential protective factor across peri-pandemic outcomes.
We identified several psychological risk and protective factors related to PD outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. A comparison of pre-pandemic data stresses the relevance of longitudinal assessments to potentially reconcile contradictory findings. Implications and suggestions for targeted prevention and intervention programs during highly stressful times such as pandemics are discussed.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterised by a recurrent course and high comorbidity rates. A lifespan perspective may therefore provide important information regarding health outcomes. The aim of the present study is to examine mental disorders that preceded 12-month MDD diagnosis and the impact of these disorders on depression outcomes.
Data came from 29 cross-sectional community epidemiological surveys of adults in 27 countries (n = 80 190). The Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was used to assess 12-month MDD and lifetime DSM-IV disorders with onset prior to the respondent's age at interview. Disorders were grouped into depressive distress disorders, non-depressive
distress disorders, fear disorders and externalising disorders. Depression outcomes included 12-month suicidality, days out of role and impairment in role functioning.
Among respondents with 12-month MDD, 94.9% (s.e. = 0.4) had at least one prior disorder (including previous MDD), and 64.6% (s.e. = 0.9) had at least one prior, non-MDD disorder. Previous non-depressive distress, fear and externalising disorders, but not depressive distress disorders, predicted higher impairment (OR = 1.4–1.6) and suicidality (OR = 1.5–2.5), after adjustment for sociodemographic variables. Further adjustment for MDD characteristics weakened, but did not eliminate, these associations. Associations were largely driven by current comorbidities, but both remitted and current externalising disorders predicted suicidality among respondents with 12-month MDD.
These results illustrate the importance of careful psychiatric history taking regarding current anxiety disorders and lifetime externalising disorders in individuals with MDD.
The most common treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is antidepressant medication (ADM). Results are reported on frequency of ADM use, reasons for use, and perceived effectiveness of use in general population surveys across 20 countries.
Face-to-face interviews with community samples totaling n = 49 919 respondents in the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys asked about ADM use anytime in the prior 12 months in conjunction with validated fully structured diagnostic interviews. Treatment questions were administered independently of diagnoses and asked of all respondents.
3.1% of respondents reported ADM use within the past 12 months. In high-income countries (HICs), depression (49.2%) and anxiety (36.4%) were the most common reasons for use. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), depression (38.4%) and sleep problems (31.9%) were the most common reasons for use. Prevalence of use was 2–4 times as high in HICs as LMICs across all examined diagnoses. Newer ADMs were proportionally used more often in HICs than LMICs. Across all conditions, ADMs were reported as very effective by 58.8% of users and somewhat effective by an additional 28.3% of users, with both proportions higher in LMICs than HICs. Neither ADM class nor reason for use was a significant predictor of perceived effectiveness.
ADMs are in widespread use and for a variety of conditions including but going beyond depression and anxiety. In a general population sample from multiple LMICs and HICs, ADMs were widely perceived to be either very or somewhat effective by the people who use them.
There is a substantial proportion of patients who drop out of treatment before they receive minimally adequate care. They tend to have worse health outcomes than those who complete treatment. Our main goal is to describe the frequency and determinants of dropout from treatment for mental disorders in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
Respondents from 13 low- or middle-income countries (N = 60 224) and 15 in high-income countries (N = 77 303) were screened for mental and substance use disorders. Cross-tabulations were used to examine the distribution of treatment and dropout rates for those who screened positive. The timing of dropout was examined using Kaplan–Meier curves. Predictors of dropout were examined with survival analysis using a logistic link function.
Dropout rates are high, both in high-income (30%) and low/middle-income (45%) countries. Dropout mostly occurs during the first two visits. It is higher in general medical rather than in specialist settings (nearly 60% v. 20% in lower income settings). It is also higher for mild and moderate than for severe presentations. The lack of financial protection for mental health services is associated with overall increased dropout from care.
Extending financial protection and coverage for mental disorders may reduce dropout. Efficiency can be improved by managing the milder clinical presentations at the entry point to the mental health system, providing adequate training, support and specialist supervision for non-specialists, and streamlining referral to psychiatrists for more severe cases.
A few empirically based studies' data on delusional disorder (DD) exist. We aim to describe sociodemographic and clinical correlates of DD and to identify clinical profiles associated to DD and its subtypes.
This is a case-register study based on all those subjects attending community mental health services within a geographically well-defined area. Four hundred and sixty-seven patients had been diagnosed as DD cases at psychiatric services serving a catchment area of some 607,494 inhabitants living in South Barcelona (Spain) during a three-year period (2001–2003). A thorough systematic review of computerised medical records was used to establish DSM-IV diagnosis, rendering a valid sample of 370 patients who fulfilled DSM-IV criteria for DD. Independent variables gathered include sociodemographic data, family and personal psychiatric history, and comorbid diagnoses on all DSM-IV axes (including GAF). We used descriptive and univariate statistical methods to explore sample frequencies and correlates across DD types.
The mean age of the patients was 55 years and the sample had a mean GAF score of 51 suggesting a poor functionality; 56.5% of the patients were female. The most frequent DD types were persecutory (48%), jealous (11%), mixed (11%) and somatic (5%), whilst 23% qualified for the NOS type. Most frequent symptoms identified were self-reference (40%), irritability (30%), depressive mood (20%) and aggressiveness (15%). Hallucinations were present in 16% of the patients (6% tactile; 4% olfactory). Nearly 9% had a family history of schizophrenia (higher among those with the jealous subtype) and 42% had a comorbid axis II diagnosis (mostly paranoid personality disorder). Depression was significantly more frequent among the persecutory and jealous types. Finally, global functioning was significantly better among jealous and mixed types and worse amongst erotomanic and grandiose cases (p = 0.008).
In the absence of other similar empirical data, this modest study provides unique empirical evidence of some clinical and risk correlates of DD and its subtypes.
Even if neurocognition is known to affect functional outcomes in schizophrenia, no previous study has explored the impact of cognition on functionality in delusional disorder (DD). We aimed to assess the effect of clinical characteristics, symptom dimensions and neuropsychological performance on psychosocial functioning and self-perceived functional impairment in DD.
Seventy-five patients with a SCID-I confirmed diagnosis of DD underwent neurocognitive testing using a neuropsychological battery examining verbal memory, attention, working memory and executive functions. We assessed psychotic symptoms with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and calculated factor scores for four clinical dimensions: Paranoid, Cognitive, Affective and Schizoid. We conducted hierarchical linear regression models to identify predictors of psychosocial functioning, as measured with the Global Assessment of Functioning scale, and self-perceived functional impairment, as measured with the Sheehan’s Disability Inventory.
In the final linear regression models, higher scores in the Paranoid (β= 0.471, p <.001, r2 = 0.273) and Cognitive (β = 0.325, p <.001, r2 = 0.180) symptomatic dimensions and lower scores in verbal memory (β = −0.273, p <.05, r2 = 0.075) were significantly associated with poorer psychosocial functioning in patients with DD. Lower scores in verbal memory (β= −0.337, p <.01, r2 = 0.158) and executive functions (β= −0.323, p <.01, r2 = 0.094) were significantly associated with higher self-perceived disability.
Impaired verbal memory and cognitive symptoms seem to affect functionality in DD, above and beyond the severity of the paranoid idea. This suggests a potential role for cognitive interventions in the management of DD.
Previous work has identified associations between psychotic experiences (PEs) and general medical conditions (GMCs), but their temporal direction remains unclear as does the extent to which they are independent of comorbid mental disorders.
In total, 28 002 adults in 16 countries from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys were assessed for PEs, GMCs and 21 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) mental disorders. Discrete-time survival analyses were used to estimate the associations between PEs and GMCs with various adjustments.
After adjustment for comorbid mental disorders, temporally prior PEs were significantly associated with subsequent onset of 8/12 GMCs (arthritis, back or neck pain, frequent or severe headache, other chronic pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and peptic ulcer) with odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 1.3 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–1.5] to 1.9 (95% CI 1.4–2.4). In contrast, only three GMCs (frequent or severe headache, other chronic pain and asthma) were significantly associated with subsequent onset of PEs after adjustment for comorbid GMCs and mental disorders, with ORs ranging from 1.5 (95% CI 1.2–1.9) to 1.7 (95% CI 1.2–2.4).
PEs were associated with the subsequent onset of a wide range of GMCs, independent of comorbid mental disorders. There were also associations between some medical conditions (particularly those involving chronic pain) and subsequent PEs. Although these findings will need to be confirmed in prospective studies, clinicians should be aware that psychotic symptoms may be risk markers for a wide range of adverse health outcomes. Whether PEs are causal risk factors will require further research.
Traumatic events are associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by mental disorders prior to psychotic experience onset.
To investigate the associations between traumatic events and subsequent psychotic experience onset after adjusting for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders.
We assessed 29 traumatic event types and psychotic experiences from the World Mental Health surveys and examined the associations of traumatic events with subsequent psychotic experience onset with and without adjustments for mental disorders.
Respondents with any traumatic events had three times the odds of other respondents of subsequently developing psychotic experiences (OR=3.1, 95% CI 2.7–3.7), with variability in strength of association across traumatic event types. These associations persisted after adjustment for mental disorders.
Exposure to traumatic events predicts subsequent onset of psychotic experiences even after adjusting for comorbid mental disorders.
We assessed specificity protein 1 (SP1) and 4 (SP4) transcription factor levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and conducted a voxel-based morphometry analysis on brain structural magnetic resonance images from 11 patients with first-episode psychosis and 14 healthy controls. We found lower SP1 and SP4 levels in patients, which correlated positively with right hippocampal volume. These results extend previous evidence showing that such transcription factors may constitute a molecular pathway to the development of psychosis.
We aimed to obtain a better understanding of how different aspects of patient functioning affect key cost and caregiver outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Baseline data from a prospective observational study of community-living AD patients (GERAS) were used. Functioning was assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study – Activities of Daily Living Scale. Generalized linear models were conducted to analyze the relationship between scores for total activities of daily living (ADL), basic ADL (BADL), instrumental ADL (IADL), ADL subdomains (confirmed through factor analysis) and individual ADL questions, and total societal costs, patient healthcare and social care costs, total and supervision caregiver time, and caregiver burden.
Four distinct ADL subdomains were confirmed: basic activities, domestic/household activities, communication, and outside activities. Higher total societal costs were associated with impairments in all aspects of ADL, including all subdomains; patient costs were associated with total ADL and BADL, and basic activities subdomain scores. Both total and supervision caregiver hours were associated with total ADL and IADL scores, and domestic/household and outside activities subdomain scores (greater hours associated with greater functional impairments). There was no association between caregiver burden and BADL or basic activities subdomain scores. The relationship between total ADL, IADL, and the outside activities subdomain and outcomes differed between patients with mild and moderate-to-severe AD.
Identification of ADL subdomains may lead to a better understanding of the association between patient function and costs and caregiver outcomes at different stages of AD, in particular the outside activities subdomain within mild AD.
Health expectancies, taking into account both quality and quantity of life, have generally been based on disability and physical functioning.
To compare mental health expectancies at age 25 and 55 based on common mental disorders both across countries and between males and females.
Mental health expectancies were calculated by combining mortality data from population life tables and the age-specific prevalence of selected common mental disorders obtained from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD).
For the male population aged 25 (all countries combined) life expectancy was 52 years and life expectancy spent with a common mental disorder was 1.8 years (95% CI 0.7-2.9),3.4% of overall life expectancy. In comparison, for the female population life expectancy at age 25 was higher (57.9 years) as was life expectancy spent with a common mental disorder (5.1 years, 95% CI 3.6-6.6) and as a proportion of overall life expectancy, 8.8%. By age 55 life expectancy spent with a common mental disorder had reduced to 0.7 years (males) and 2.3 years (females).
Age and gender differences underpin our understanding of years spent with common mental disorders in adulthood. Greater age does not mean living relatively more years with common mental disorder. However, the female population spends more years with common mental disorders and a greater proportion of their longer life expectancy with them (and with each studied separate mental disorder).
Background: Over the last 20 years, a number of instruments developed for the assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQL) in dementia have been introduced. The aim of this review is to synthesize evidence from published reviews on HRQL measures in dementia and any new literature in order to identify dementia specific HRQL instruments, the domains they measure, and their operationalization.
Methods: An electronic search of PsycINFO and PubMed was conducted, from inception to December 2011 using a combination of key words that included quality of life and dementia.
Results: Fifteen dementia-specific HRQL instruments were identified. Instruments varied depending on their country of development/validation, dementia severity, data collection method, operationalization of HRQL in dementia, psychometric properties, and the scoring. The most common domains assessed include mood, self-esteem, social interaction, and enjoyment of activities.
Conclusions: A number of HRQL instruments for dementia are available. The suitability of the scales for different contexts is discussed. Many studies do not specifically set out to measure dementia-specific HRQL but do include related items. Determining how best to operationalize the many HRQL domains will be helpful for mapping measures of HRQL in such studies maximizing the value of existing resources.
Within the ICD and DSM review processes there is growing debate on the
future classification and status of adjustment disorders, even though
evidence on this clinical entity is scant, particularly outside
To estimate the prevalence of adjustment disorders in primary care; to
explore whether there are differences between primary care patients with
adjustment disorders and those with other mental disorders; and to
describe the recognition and treatment of adjustment disorders by general
Participants were drawn from a cross-sectional survey of a representative
sample of 3815 patients from 77 primary healthcare centres in Catalonia.
The prevalence of current adjustment disorders and subtypes were assessed
face to face using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I
Disorders (SCID-I). Multilevel logistic regressions were conducted to
assess differences between adjustment disorders and other mental
disorders. Recognition and treatment of adjustment disorders by GPs were
assessed through a review of patients' computerised clinical
The prevalence of adjustment disorders was 2.94%. Patients with
adjustment disorders had higher mental quality-of-life scores than
patients with major depressive disorder but lower than patients without
mental disorder. Self-perceived stress was also higher in adjustment
disorders compared with those with anxiety disorders and those without
mental disorder. Recognition of adjustment disorders by GPs was low: only
2 of the 110 cases identified using the SCID-I were detected by the GP.
Among those with adjustment disorders, 37% had at least one psychotropic
Adjustment disorder shows a distinct profile as an intermediate category
between no mental disorder and affective disorders (depression and
Mental and physical disorders are associated with total disability, but
their effects on days with partial disability (i.e. the ability to
perform some, but not full-role, functioning in daily life) are not well
To estimate individual (i.e. the consequences for an individual with a
disorder) and societal effects (i.e. the avoidable partial disability in
the society due to disorders) of mental and physical disorders on days
with partial disability around the world.
Respondents from 26 nationally representative samples (n
= 61 259, age 18+) were interviewed regarding mental and physical
disorders, and day-to-day functioning. The Composite International
Diagnostic Interview, version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) was used to assess mental
disorders; partial disability (expressed in full day equivalents) was
assessed with the World Health Organization Disability Assessment
Schedule in the CIDI 3.0.
Respondents with disorders reported about 1.58 additional disability days
per month compared with respondents without disorders. At the individual
level, mental disorders (especially post-traumatic stress disorder,
depression and bipolar disorder) yielded a higher number of days with
disability than physical disorders. At the societal level, the population
attributable risk proportion due to physical and mental disorders was 49%
and 15% respectively.
Mental and physical disorders have a considerable impact on partial
disability, at both the individual and at the societal level. Physical
disorders yielded higher effects on partial disability than mental
Associations between specific parent and offspring mental disorders are likely to have been overestimated in studies that have failed to control for parent comorbidity.
To examine the associations of parent with respondent disorders.
Data come from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys (n = 51 507). Respondent disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and parent disorders with informant-based Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria interviews.
Although virtually all parent disorders examined (major depressive, generalised anxiety, panic, substance and antisocial behaviour disorders and suicidality) were significantly associated with offspring disorders in multivariate analyses, little specificity was found. Comorbid parent disorders had significant sub-additive associations with offspring disorders. Population-attributable risk proportions for parent disorders were 12.4% across all offspring disorders, generally higher in high- and upper-middle- than low-/lower-middle-income countries, and consistently higher for behaviour (11.0–19.9%) than other (7.1–14.0%) disorders.
Parent psychopathology is a robust non-specific predictor associated with a substantial proportion of offspring disorders.
Although significant associations of childhood adversities with adult mental disorders are widely documented, most studies focus on single childhood adversities predicting single disorders.
To examine joint associations of 12 childhood adversities with first onset of 20 DSM–IV disorders in World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys in 21 countries.
Nationally or regionally representative surveys of 51 945 adults assessed childhood adversities and lifetime DSM–IV disorders with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Childhood adversities were highly prevalent and interrelated. Childhood adversities associated with maladaptive family functioning (e.g. parental mental illness, child abuse, neglect) were the strongest predictors of disorders. Co-occurring childhood adversities associated with maladaptive family functioning had significant subadditive predictive associations and little specificity across disorders. Childhood adversities account for 29.8% of all disorders across countries.
Childhood adversities have strong associations with all classes of disorders at all life-course stages in all groups of WMH countries. Long-term associations imply the existence of as-yet undetermined mediators.
Burden-of-illness data, which are often used in setting healthcare policy-spending priorities, are unavailable for mental disorders in most countries.
To examine one central aspect of illness burden, the association of serious mental illness with earnings, in the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys.
The WMH Surveys were carried out in 10 high-income and 9 low- and middle-income countries. The associations of personal earnings with serious mental illness were estimated.
Respondents with serious mental illness earned on average a third less than median earnings, with no significant between-country differences (χ2(9) = 5.5–8.1, P = 0.52–0.79). These losses are equivalent to 0.3–0.8% of total national earnings. Reduced earnings among those with earnings and the increased probability of not earning are both important components of these associations.
These results add to a growing body of evidence that mental disorders have high societal costs. Decisions about healthcare resource allocation should take these costs into consideration.