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Common mental illness in people with sensory impairment: results from the 2014 adult psychiatric morbidity survey

  • Natalie Shoham (a1), Gemma Lewis (a2), Sally McManus (a3) and Claudia Cooper (a4)

Abstract

Background

People with sensory impairments may be at increased risk of depression and anxiety but experience barriers to accessing treatment.

Aims

To investigate whether people with sensory impairment have more depressive and anxiety symptoms than people without, whether this is mediated by social functioning and whether they report greater non-treatment.

Method

We analysed data from the English 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey using regression models, with the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised (CIS-R) score as the primary outcome and self-reported hearing and vision impairment as exposures. A secondary outcome was self-reported receipt of mental health diagnosis and treatment. We used structural equation modelling to assess for mediation by social functioning.

Results

A total of 19.0% of people with hearing impairment, and 30.9% and 24.5% with distance and near visual impairments, respectively, had clinically significant psychological morbidity. Adjusted mean CIS-R score was 1.86 points higher in people with hearing impairment compared with those without (95% CI 1.30–2.42, P<0.001). People with distance and near vision impairment had mean CIS-R scores 3.61 (95% CI 2.58–4.63, P<0.001) and 2.74 (95% CI 2.12–3.37, P<0.001) points higher, respectively, than those without. Social functioning accounted for approximately 50% of these relationships between sensory impairment and psychological morbidity. We found no evidence of an increased treatment gap for people with sensory impairment.

Conclusions

Social functioning, a potentially modifiable target, may mediate an association between sensory impairment and depressive and anxiety symptoms.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Natalie Shoham. Email: natalie.shoham.16@ucl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest None.

Footnotes

References

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Common mental illness in people with sensory impairment: results from the 2014 adult psychiatric morbidity survey

  • Natalie Shoham (a1), Gemma Lewis (a2), Sally McManus (a3) and Claudia Cooper (a4)

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Common mental illness in people with sensory impairment: results from the 2014 adult psychiatric morbidity survey

  • Natalie Shoham (a1), Gemma Lewis (a2), Sally McManus (a3) and Claudia Cooper (a4)
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