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Journal article

Relationships between physical activity, symptoms and quality of life among inpatients with severe mental illness

Authors:
BONSAKSEN Tore, LERDAL Anners
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(2), February 2012, pp.69-75.
Publisher:
College of Occupational Therapists

This study explored the relationships between self-reported physical activity, depression, anxiety and quality of life in 18 inpatients with severe mental illness in Norway. Physical activity was measured with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire; anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; and quality of life was measured with the World Health Organization Quality of Life - BREF. Results revealed that patients with more depression and anxiety symptoms reported lower quality of life. There was no relationship between physical activity and quality of life. Findings also confirmed relationships between depression and anxiety scores and lower quality of life. The authors concluded that the findings may be due to participants' severity of illness. Physical activity may be more important to quality of life in better-functioning patients.

Journal article

Do mental health and behavioural problems of early menarche persist into late adolescence? A three year follow-up study among adolescent girls in Oslo, Norway

Authors:
LIEN Lars, HAAVET Ole Rikard, DALGARD Florence
Journal article citation:
Social Science and Medicine, 71(3), August 2010, pp.529-533.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Noting that early pubertal timing in girls has been identified as an important risk factor for various mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety, and substance abuse, delinquent behaviour and increased sexual risk-taking, this study aimed to explore whether the differences in mental health problems between girls with early and late menarche persist into late adolescence. Data was gathered through self-reported responses from a large school-based survey of 15-year-old girls in Oslo, with 1,860 participating girls in the 2001 survey and 1,377 in the 3 year follow-up study in 2004. The results showed that although at 15 years of age there was strong statistically significant association between age of menarche and mental distress, this cross-sectional association was no longer statistically significant 3 years later among the same girls, and the relation between age of menarche and mental distress disappeared from 15 to 18 years of age. The researchers concluded that the study showed that the effects of age of menarche on mental health problems are transitory, suggesting a possible "wait and see" approach for girls facing mental health problems during puberty.

Journal article

Emotional and behavioural problems in subgroups of children with chronic illness: results from a large-scale population study

Authors:
HYSING M., et al
Journal article citation:
Child: Care, Health and Development, 35(4), July 2009, pp.527-533.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Background  Children with chronic illness are known to have an increased risk of emotional and behavioural problems. In the present population-based study children with asthma, neurological disorders and other chronic illnesses were compared with children without chronic illnesses to assess differences in psychological presentation across illness groups. A total of 537 children with parent-reported chronic illness in the Bergen Child Study were categorized into three groups: asthma, neurological disorders and other chronic illnesses. Emotional and behavioural problems were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. All three illness groups had an increased rate of emotional and behavioural problems, as well as increased probability of a psychiatric disorder compared with children without a chronic illness. Most children with asthma and other chronic illnesses did not have emotional and behavioural problems, and effect sizes were small in both groups. In children with neurological disorders the effect sizes ranged from moderate to large, with emotional problems, inattention hyperactivity and peer problems being the most frequent problems. The increased rate of emotional and behavioural problems in children with chronic illness, especially neurological disorders, emphasizes the importance of early detection of mental health problems in these children.

Journal article

Mental health problems among child welfare clients living at home

Author:
IVERSON Anette Christine
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 13(4), October 2007, pp.387-399.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

The great majority of children receiving intervention from child welfare and protection services (CWS) in Norway live at home. The purpose of this study was to assess mental health problems among these children. Data stem from a population-based study, the Bergen child study, conducted in 2006. Of a sample consisting of 4,162 children in the fifth to seventh grades, 82 children were CWS clients who lived at home. Compared with their peers, the CWS children had significantly higher scores on emotional problems, hyperactivity, conduct problems, peer problems, and total difficulties (child and parent reports on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire). The relationship between being a CWS client and total difficulties remained significant when socio-demographic variables were controlled for. Even though the results indicate that child welfare clients have more contact with child and adolescent mental health service than earlier assumed, the results emphasise the need for strong collaboration between CWS and mental health services and the need for CWS to include other types of interventions in addition to financial support.

Journal article

Does a higher educational level protect against anxiety and depression? The HUNT study

Authors:
BJELLAND Ingvar, et al
Journal article citation:
Social Science and Medicine, 66(6), March 2008, pp.1334-1345.
Publisher:
Elsevier

The relationship of education to the experience of anxiety and depression throughout adult life is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine (1) whether higher educational level protects against anxiety and/or depression, (2) whether this protection accumulates or attenuates with age or time, and (3) whether such a relationship appears to be mediated by other variables. In a sample from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study 1995–1997 (HUNT 2) (N = 50,918) of adults, the cross-sectional associations between educational level and symptom levels of anxiety and depression were examined, stratified by age. The long-term effects of educational level on anxiety/depression were studied in a cohort followed up from HUNT 1 (1984–1986) to HUNT 2 (N = 33,774). Low educational levels were significantly associated with both anxiety and depression. The coefficients decreased with increasing age, except for the age group 65–74 years. In the longitudinal analysis, however, the protective effect of education accumulated somewhat with time. The discrepancy between these two analyses may be due to a cohort effect in the cross-sectional analysis. Among the mediators, somatic health exerted the strongest influence, followed by health behaviors and socio-demographic factors. Higher educational level seems to have a protective effect against anxiety and depression, which accumulates throughout life.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Unemployment and psychological distress among young adults in the Nordic countries: a review of the literature

Authors:
RENEFLOT Anne, EVENSON Miriam
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Social Welfare, 23(1), 2014, pp.3-15.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This article reviews Nordic research, published from 1995 and onwards, on the relationship between unemployment and mental health among young adults. Cross-sectional, longitudinal and time-series studies are included. Cross-sectional studies show that the unemployed experience more mental health problems than the non-unemployed. Leaving unemployment is associated with increased well-being. Economic problems, feelings of shame and poor social support increase the likelihood of psychological distress. The longitudinal studies show that unemployment increases the risk of psychological distress and attempted suicide, after initial mental health status and confounding factors are accounted for. The relationship remains significant when time-invariant characteristics of the individuals are controlled for. The time-series studies found no relationship between unemployment and suicide, but levels of psychological distress were found to vary with changes in the labour market. This relationship remained significant after excluding the non-employed, indicating that unemployment trends have effects beyond those directly associated with unemployment. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Social networks for mental health clients: resources and solution

Authors:
KOGSTAD Ragnfrid Eline, MONNESS Erik, SORENSEN Tom
Journal article citation:
Community Mental Health Journal, 49(1), 2013, pp.95-100.
Publisher:
Springer

Several studies have illustrated the importance of social support and social networks for persons with mental health problems. Social networks may mean a reduced need for professional services, but also help to facilitate access to professional help. The interplay between social networks and professional services is complicated and invites further investigation. Compare aspects of clients’ experiences with social networks to experiences with professional services and learn about the relationship between network resources and help from the public health service system. Quantitative analyses of a sample of 850 informants. Supportive networks exist for a majority of the informants and can also be a substitute for public/professional services in many respects. Regarding help to recover, social networks may offer qualities equal to those of professional services. Furthermore, there is a positive relationship between trust in a social network and trust in public professional services. Trust in a social network also increases the probability of achieving positive experiences with professional services. Our findings imply that more network qualities should be included in professional services, and also that professionals should assist vulnerable groups in building networks. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Social support and sense of coherence: independent, shared and interaction relationships with life stress and mental health

Authors:
SORENSEN Tom, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 13(1), February 2011, pp.27-44.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Perceived social support and sense of coherence are both used extensively as variables to predict and explain the impact of external factors on individuals' mental health. This study investigated whether the current operational definitions of these two concepts measure the same or different dimensions of the intervening process and/or have a distinct interaction effect on mental health. A survey was carried out in Lofoten, a series of islands in Northern Norway. Self completion questionnaires were delivered to all households (people 18 years and above) in the selected communities; 67% responded (n = 1062). Factor analysis was used to subdivide the items for perceived social support and sense of coherence. The two concepts made both significant independent and shared contributions to explained variance on the mental health index. All second-order terms (any combination of two of the indexes, sense of coherence, perceived social support or negative life events) show modification effects with regard to mental health. The combination of sense of coherence, perceived social support and negative life events showed a third order effect modification with regard to mental health. The interaction between social support and sense of coherence increased with the number of experienced negative life events. Thus, it is concluded that all three factors need to be considered to maximise the efficiency of health promotion projects.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Physical activity and common mental disorders

Authors:
HARVEY Samuel B., et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 197(5), November 2010, pp.357-364.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Levels of physical activity have decreased in high income countries. This is known to reduce physical health, but may also negatively affect mental health. This study investigated the relationship between physical activity and common mental disorders. It also established the importance of context, type and intensity of activity undertaken. In a clinical examination of 40,401 Norwegian residents, participants answered questions relating to the frequency and intensity of both leisure-time and workplace activity. Depression and anxiety were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results revealed an inverse relationship between the amount of leisure-time physical activity and case-level symptoms of depression. This association was only present with leisure-time activity and was not dependent on the intensity of activities undertaken. Higher levels of social engagement were important in explaining the relationship between leisure activity and depression. The authors concluded that individuals who regularly engage in physical activity are less likely to exhibit symptoms of depression.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Long-term mental health of Vietnamese refugees in the aftermath of trauma

Authors:
VAAGE Aina Basilier, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 196(2), February 2010, pp.122-125.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Long-term prospective data (more than 10 years) about the mental health of refugees is limited. This paper reports the long-term course and predictors of psychological distress as revealed in the third interview phase of a longitudinal, community cohort study of Vietnamese refugees settled in Norway. Eighty people, 57% of the original cohort interviewed in 1982 (T1) and 1985 (T2), completed a self-report questionnaire prior to a semi-structured interview. Mental health was measured using the Symptom Checklist–90–Revised (SCL–90–R). There were 12 women and 68 men, with a mean age of 47.5 years at T3. A Norwegian normative sample was included for comparison. The SCL–90–R mean Global Severity Index (GSI) decreased significantly from T1 to T3 (2005–6), but there was no significant change in the percentage reaching threshold scores (GSI =1.00). No gender differences were seen. Trauma-related mental disorder on arrival and the trajectory of symptoms over the first 3 years of resettlement predicted mental health after 23 years. Although self-reported psychological distress decreased significantly over time, a substantially higher proportion of the refugee group still reached threshold scores after 23 years of resettlement compared with the Norwegian population. It is suggested that refugees reaching threshold scores on measures such as the SCL–90–R soon after arrival warrant comprehensive clinical assessment.

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