Reports of mental health disability increase in US

September 23, 2011

The prevalence of self-reported mental health disabilities increased in the U.S. among non-elderly adults during the last decade, according to a study by Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the same time, the study found the prevalence of disability attributed to other chronic conditions decreased, while the prevalence of significant mental distress remained unchanged. The findings will appear in the November edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

"These findings highlight the need for improved access to in our communities and for better integration of these services with primary care delivery," said Mojtabai, an associate professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Mental Health. "While the trend in self-reported mental health disability is clear, the causes of this trend are not well understood."

For the study, Mojtabai reviewed data from the U.S. National covering 312,364 adults ages 18 to 64 years. He found that the prevalence of self-reported mental health disability increased from 2.0 percent of the non-elderly adult population from 1997 to 1999 to 2.7 percent from 2007 to 2009. According to Mojtabai, the increase equates to nearly 2 million disabled adults. He also noted the increase in the prevalence of mental health disability was mainly among individuals with significant psychological distress who did not use mental health services in the past year. Findings showed that 3.2 percent of participants reported not receiving for financial reasons between 2007 and 2009, compared to 2.0 percent from 1997 to 1999.

In a study published last month, Mojtabai and his colleagues found that prescriptions for by non-psychiatrist providers without any accompanying psychiatric diagnosis increased more than 30 percent over the last decade.

Explore further: Psychologists develop new model that links emotions and mental health

Related Stories

Psychologists develop new model that links emotions and mental health

October 19, 2017
For decades psychologists have studied how people regulate emotions using a multitude of ways to conceptualize and assess emotion regulation. Now a recent study published this week in the journal PLOS ONE by Elliot Jurist ...

'Steep rise' in self-harm among teenage girls

October 19, 2017
University of Manchester researchers have found that reports of self-harm in girls aged between 13 and 16 rose by 68 percent between 2011 and 2014. Overall, girls had much higher rates than boys.

Experiences of adoptive families inform policy recommendations

October 19, 2017
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) recommends increased support for adoptive families and early intervention for those at risk of breaking down.

Kidney failure's effects on the psychosocial health and lifestyle of young adults

October 19, 2017
Kidney failure is associated with lower quality of life in young people and limited employment, independence, and relationships compared with healthy peers, according to an analysis appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical ...

Fathers with learning disabilities 'left out of support,' study finds

October 19, 2017
Fathers with learning disabilities are often let down by statutory services, which neglect to support them around parenting or focus only on mothers, a study has found.

Childhood heart disease has a profound impact and is under-recognised

October 19, 2017
We are all aware of heart disease in men and women. But childhood heart disease, and its often profound impact on the health and wellbeing of children and their families, is almost invisible.

Recommended for you

Probing how Americans think about mental life

October 20, 2017
When Stanford researchers asked people to think about the sensations and emotions of inanimate or non-human entities, they got a glimpse into how those people think about mental life.

Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us

October 19, 2017
Snakes and spiders evoke fear and disgust in many people, even in developed countries where hardly anybody comes into contact with them. Until now, there has been debate about whether this aversion is innate or learnt. Scientists ...

Dutch courage—Alcohol improves foreign language skills

October 18, 2017
A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University and King's College London, shows that bilingual speakers' ability to speak a second ...

Inflamed support cells appear to contribute to some kinds of autism

October 18, 2017
Modeling the interplay between neurons and astrocytes derived from children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil, say innate ...

Study suggests psychedelic drugs could reduce criminal behavior

October 18, 2017
Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin (often called magic mushrooms), LSD and mescaline (found in peyote) are associated with a decreased likelihood of antisocial criminal behavior, according to new research from investigators ...

Taking probiotics may reduce postnatal depression

October 18, 2017
Researchers from the University of Auckland and Otago have found evidence that a probiotic given in pregnancy can help prevent or treat symptoms of postnatal depression and anxiety.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.