Charles Darwin University

CDU eSpace
Institutional Repository

 
CDU Staff and Student only
 

Socio-demographic factors and psychological distress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adults aged 18-64 years: analysis of national survey data

Cunningham, Joan and Paradies, Yin C. (2012). Socio-demographic factors and psychological distress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adults aged 18-64 years: analysis of national survey data. BMC Public Health,12(95):1-15.

Document type: Journal Article
Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your CDU eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Download this reading Cunningham_38436.pdf Published version application/pdf 294.05KB 41
Reading the attached file works best in Firefox, Chrome and IE 9 or later.

IRMA ID cspargoxPUB4
Title Socio-demographic factors and psychological distress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adults aged 18-64 years: analysis of national survey data
Author Cunningham, Joan
Paradies, Yin C.
Journal Name BMC Public Health
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 12
Issue Number 95
ISSN 1471-2458   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84856405651
Start Page 1
End Page 15
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
Indigenous Australians are known to be at greater risk of morbidity and mortality from mental health related conditions, but most available data relate to the use of mental health services, and little is known about other aspects of social and emotional wellbeing. Using the first available nationally representative data, we examined the prevalence and patterning of psychological distress among Indigenous Australian adults and compared these with corresponding data from the non-Indigenous population.

Methods
The analysis used weighted data on psychological distress, as measured by a modified Kessler Psychological Distress score (K5), and a range of socio-demographic measures for 5,417 Indigenous and 15,432 non-Indigenous adults aged 18-64 years from two nationally representative surveys. Very high psychological distress (VHPD) was defined as a K5 score ≥ 15 (possible range = 5-25).

Results
Indigenous adults were about three times more likely than non-Indigenous adults to be classified with VHPD: 14.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 12.9-16.0%) versus 5.5% (95% CI 5.0-5.9%). After adjusting for age, most socio-demographic variables were significantly associated with VHPD in both populations, although the relative odds were generally larger among non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people in remote areas had a lower prevalence of VHPD than their non-remote counterparts, and only marital status, main language, and food insecurity were significantly associated with VHPD in remote areas.

Conclusions
Higher absolute levels of VHPD combined with smaller socio-demographic gradients in the Indigenous population suggest the importance of risk factors such as interpersonal racism, marginalization and dispossession, chronic stress and exposure to violence that are experienced by Indigenous Australians with common and/or cross-cutting effects across the socioeconomic spectrum. The lower prevalence of VHPD and lack of association with many socio-demographic variables in remote areas suggests either that the instrument may be less valid for Indigenous people living in remote areas or that living in an Indigenous majority environment (such as exists in most remote communities) may mitigate the risk of psychological distress to some degree.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-95   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)


© copyright

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in CDU eSpace. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact digitisation@cdu.edu.au.

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 32 Abstract Views, 41 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 01:34:38 CST