Socioeconomic status (SES) affects physical and mental health and cognitive functioning. The association between SES changes (SES mobility) and health has ethical and political implications in that the pernicious effects of inequality and the differential impact on social classes of economic and social policies. There is a lack of research conducted to explore the intergenerational transmission of parental SES changes on the offspring’s mental health and cognitive functioning. We aim to fill this gap and identify roles of parental SES changes in offspring’s mental health and cognitive outcomes.
This study will be based on a longitudinal cohort from the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec. Participants and their biological offspring will be invited to this study. For those with informed consent, we will collect their information on mental health, psychiatric disorders, cognitive functioning and early life experiences for offspring. Latent class growth analysis will be used to identify parental SES mobility groups. Multivariate regression analyses will be used to explore the roles of early life stress, parental SES mobility and their interactions in psychiatric disorders and cognitive functioning. Subgroup analyses (males and females) are also planned.
This study has been given ethical approval by the Research Ethics Board of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (IUSMD-18/17). Each participant will provide informed consent on participation. We will disseminate research findings through publication in peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations at conferences. Lay summaries of major research findings will also be shared annually with our partners in the health system and community agencies located in the catchment area.
The high placebo response in depression treatment trials is a major contributing factor for randomised control trial failure to establish efficacy of novel or repurposed treatments in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and major depressive disorder in general. Though there have been a number of meta-analyses and primary research studies evaluating the placebo response in non-TRD, placebo response in TRD is poorly understood. It is important to understand the placebo response of TRD as treatments are only moderately effective and up to 1/3 of patients will experience TRD.
We will conduct a search of electronic databases (MEDLINE and PsychINFO) from inception to 24th January 2020 including randomised, placebo-controlled trials of pharmacological, somatic and psychological interventions for adults with TRD. TRD will be defined as a failure to respond to at least two interventions of adequate dose or duration. We will also search reference lists from review articles. We will perform several meta-analyses to quantify the placebo response for each treatment modality. Regression analysis will explore potential contributing demographic and clinical variables to the placebo response. We will use Cochrane risk of bias tool.
There is no research ethics board approval required. The dissemination plan is to publish results in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
Sensory impairments are associated with worse mental health and poorer quality of life, but few studies have investigated whether sensory impairment is associated with suicidal behaviour in a population sample. We investigated whether visual and hearing impairments were associated with suicidal ideation and attempt.
National cross-sectional study.
Households in England.
We analysed data for 7546 household residents in England, aged 16 and over from the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.
Sensory impairment (either visual or hearing), Dual sensory impairment (visual and hearing), visual impairment, hearing impairment.
Suicidal ideation and suicide attempt in the past year.
People with visual or hearing sensory impairments had twice the odds of past-year suicidal ideation (OR 2.06; 95% CI 1.17 to 2.73; p
We found evidence that individuals with sensory impairments are more likely to have thought about or attempted suicide in the past year than individuals without.
A core facilitator of the transition from suicidal thoughts to suicide attempt is the individual’s capacity for suicide. Suicide capacity is a theoretically universal concept adaptable for specific groups that is hypothesised to comprise three contributing factors: acquired capability, for example, previous self-harm; dispositional, such as genetic influences and practical, knowledge of and access to lethal means. Given that suicide capacity as a concept is continuing to develop, a review and synthesis of the current literature is timely to ensure future research and development of suicide prevention strategies are based on evidential knowledge. The aim of this review is to map the available evidence to provide an overview of factors that contribute to an adult’s capacity for suicide.
This review will encompass five stages. Studies will be identified through broad search strings applied to 11 academic databases: Academic Search Ultimate, APA PsycArticles, APA PsycINFO, CINAHL, Psychology & Behavioural Sciences, & Sociology Source Ultimate via EBSCOHost Megafile Ultimate; PubMed; Science Direct; Wiley Online; Taylor & Francis and ProQuest dissertations and theses. Grey literature databases and key suicide organisations will also be searched for relevant literature. Two reviewers will independently screen titles and abstracts then review full texts to identify articles meeting inclusion criteria. Articles will be assessed for eligibility based on suicide attempt history, primary research study design, language and publication date. Data from eligible full texts will be extracted using a predesigned template for analysis. The synthesisation method will be textual narrative synthesis with an incorporated quality appraisal checklist tool.
Ethics approval is not required for this scoping review as no human participants are involved. Study findings will be shared with key suicide organisations, through peer-reviewed publications, and conference presentations.
Young people who have been removed from their family home and placed in out-of-home care have commonly experienced abuse, neglect and/or other forms of early adversity. High rates of mental health difficulties have been well documented in this group. The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of these young people within the care system, particularly in relation to support-seeking and coping with emotional needs, to better understand feasible and acceptable ways to improve outcomes for these young people.
This study used 1:1 semistructured qualitative interviews with young people in out-of-home care in England, to provide an in-depth understanding of their views of coping and support for their emotional needs, both in terms of support networks and experiences with mental health services. Participants were 25 young people aged 10–16 years old (56% female), and included young people living with non-biological foster carers, kinship carers and in residential group homes.
Participants described positive (eg, feeling safe) and negative (eg, feeling judged) aspects to being in care. Carers were identified as the primary source of support, with a supportive adult central to coping. Views on support and coping differed for young people who were experiencing more significant mental health difficulties, with this group largely reporting feeling unsupported and many engaging in self-harm. The minority of participants had accessed formal mental health support, and opinions on usefulness were mixed.
Results provide insight, from the perspective of care-experienced young people, about both barriers and facilitators to help-seeking, as well as avenues for improving support.
Despite a range of antidepressant drugs and therapies, approximately one-third of patients fail to achieve meaningful recovery, prompting the urgent need for more effective treatment for depression. Several open-label studies randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses have been conducted to confirm the therapeutic efficacy and side effects of ketamine and esketamine. Esketamine is (S)- enantiomer of ketamine; however, there is limited evidence comparing esketamine and ketamine in treating unipolar and bipolar depression have been published so far.
We will include all double-blind RCTs comparing efficacy and side-effect profile of ketamine and esketamine in the treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression. Our primary outcomes will be study-defined response at endpoint assessment; dropouts due to adverse events and other adverse drug reactions. Published studies will be retrieved through relevant database searches. Reference selection and data extraction will be independently completed by two investigators, resolving inconsistencies by consensus or a discussion with the third investigator. For each outcome, we will undertake a network meta-analysis to synthesise all evidence. Local and global methods will be used to evaluate consistency. We will assess the quality of evidence contributing to network estimates with the Confidence in Network Meta-Analysis web application.
This work does not require ethics approval as it will be based on published studies. This review will be published in peer-reviewed journals.
Explore international consensus on nomenclatures of suicidal behaviours and analyse differences in terminology between high-income countries (HICs) and low/middle-income countries (LMICs).
An online survey of members of the International Organisation for Suicide Prevention (IASP) used multiple-choice questions and vignettes to assess the four dimensions of the definition of suicidal behaviour: outcome, intent, knowledge and agency.
Respondents included 126 individuals, 37 from 30 LMICs and 89 from 33 HICs. They included 40 IASP national representatives (65% response rate), IASP regular members (20% response rate) and six respondents from six additional countries identified by other organisations.
Definitions of English-language terms for suicidal behaviours.
The recommended definition of ‘suicide’ describes a fatal act initiated and carried out by the actors themselves. The definition of ‘suicide attempt’ was restricted to non-fatal acts with intent to die, whereas definition of ‘self-harm’ more broadly referred to acts with varying motives, including the wish to die. Almost all respondents agreed about the definitions of ‘suicidal ideation’, ‘death wishes’ and ‘suicide plan’. ‘Aborted suicide attempt’ and ‘interrupted suicide attempt’ were not considered components of ‘preparatory suicidal behaviour’. There were several differences between representatives from HICs and LMICs.
This international opinion survey provided the basis for developing a transcultural nomenclature of suicidal behaviour. Future developments of this nomenclature should be tested in larger samples of professionals, including LMICs may be a challenge.
Only a minority of people living with mental health problems are getting professional help. As digitalisation moves on, the possibility of providing internet/mobile-based interventions (IMIs) arises. One type of IMIs are fully automated conversational software agents (chatbots). Software agents are computer programs that can hold conversations with a human by mimicking a human conversational style. Software agents could deliver low-threshold and cost-effective interventions aiming at promoting psychological well-being in a large number of individuals. The aim of this trial is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and acceptance of the brief software agent-based IMI SISU in comparison with a waitlist control group.
Within a two-group randomised controlled trial, a total of 120 adult participants living with low well-being (Well-being Scale/WHO-5) will be recruited in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. SISU is based on therapeutic writing and acceptance and commitment therapy-based principles. The brief intervention consists of three modules. Participants work through the intervention on 3 consecutive days. Assessment takes place before (t1), during (t2) and after (t3) the interaction with SISU, as well as 4 weeks after randomisation (t4). Primary outcome is psychological well-being (WHO-5). Secondary outcomes are emotional well-being (Flourishing Scale), psychological flexibility (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II), quality of life (Assessment of Quality of Life -8D), satisfaction with the intervention (Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8) and side effects (Inventory for the assessment of negative effectsof psychotherapy). Examined mediators and moderators are sociodemographic variables, personality (Big Five Inventory-10), emotion regulation (Emotion Regulation Questionnaire), alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20), centrality of events (Centrality of Events Scale), treatment expectancies (Credibility Expectancy Questionnaire) and technology alliance (Inventory of Technology Alliance–Online Therapy). Data analysis will be based on intention-to-treat principles. SISU guides participants through a 3-day intervention.
This trial has been approved by the ethics committee of the Ulm University (No. 448/18, 18.02.2019). Results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at conferences.
The trial is registered at the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform via the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS): DRKS00016799 (date of registration: 25 April 2019). In case of important protocol modifications, trial registration will be updated. This is protocol version number 1.
This study aimed to investigate the knowledge–attitude–practice (KAP) of Chinese college students regarding COVID-19 and evaluate their psychological status against the background of the COVID-19 outbreak.
This was a cross-sectional study.
This study covered 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of mainland China.
The participants, who were college students with ordinary full-time status, were surveyed anonymously on their KAP regarding COVID-19 by using self-made questionnaires. In addition, the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale was used to assess the psychological status of the students.
The online cross-sectional study among Chinese college students was conducted in February 2020. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyse the predictors of anxiety symptoms.
The level of KAP and anxiety symptoms.
A total of 740 college students from 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China were recruited in the survey. Among them, 139 (18.78%) revealed having anxiety. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that female gender was the risk factor for anxiety symptoms with an increased 2.164-fold risk than male gender (OR=2.164, 95% CI=1.279 to 3.662). The knowledge (OR=0.825, 95% CI=0.779 to 0.873) and attitude (OR=0.822, 95% CI=0.762 to 0.887) regarding COVID-19 were protective factors against anxiety symptoms.
The level of KAP regarding COVID-19 was significantly negatively correlated with anxiety symptoms. Thus, understanding the level of KAP among college students during the early stages of major public health emergencies, such as a pandemic, is important. Such understanding plays an important role in adopting targeted health education strategies and reducing the psychological damage caused by these emergencies.
Having a visual impairment is known to be associated with an increased vulnerability to (potentially) traumatic events. Little is known about how people with visual impairment experience and process such events. This qualitative study aimed to provide more insight into experiences with traumatic events, consequences of traumatic events and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related care among people with visual impairment and PTSD.
Eighteen persons with visual impairment and (a history of) PTSD were interviewed. Among them were 14 women and 4 men aged between 23 and 66 years. Recruitment of participants was done through health professionals from two low-vision service centres and a patient association for people with eye diseases and visual impairment in The Netherlands. Interviews focused on experiences with (1) traumatic events, (2) consequences of traumatic events and (3) PTSD-related care. Thematic content analysis of interview data was performed using ATLAS.ti. The COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research (COREQ) checklist was used to check for completeness and transparency of the study. Data were collected between 2018 and 2020.
The most commonly reported traumatic events were sexual and physical abuse. Many participants experienced that their impairment had negatively affected their acceptance by others, independence and self-esteem, increasing their vulnerability for traumatic events. Additionally, having a visual impairment negatively impacted participants’ ability to respond to situations and aggravated post-traumatic stress reactions. Existing treatments seem suitable for people with visual impairment when accommodated to the impairment.
Having a visual impairment may affect traumatic events and post-traumatic stress reactions, particularly by contributing to low self-esteem, problems in social interactions and a lack of visual information. Insights from this study provide starting points for adapting pretraumatic and post-traumatic care to the needs of people with visual impairment.
To address a gap in knowledge by simultaneously assessing a broad spectrum of individual socioeconomic and potential health determinants of suicidal ideation (SI) using validated measures in a large UK representative community sample.
In this cross-sectional design, participants were recruited via random area probability sampling to participate in a comprehensive public health survey. The questionnaire examined demographic, health and socioeconomic factors. Logistic regression analysis was employed to identify predictors of SI.
Community setting from high (n=20) and low (n=8) deprivation neighbourhoods across the North West of England, UK.
4319 people were recruited between August 2015 and January 2016. There were 809 participants from low-deprivation neighbourhoods and 3510 from high-deprivation neighbourhoods. The sample comprised 1854 (43%) men and 2465 (57%) women.
SI was the dependent variable which was assessed using item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 instrument.
454 (11%) participants reported having SI within the last 2 weeks. Model 1 (excluding mental health variables) identified younger age, black and minority ethnic (BME) background, lower housing quality and current smoker status as key predictors of SI. Higher self-esteem, empathy and neighbourhood belonging, alcohol abstinence and having arthritis were protective against SI. Model 2 (including mental health variables) found depression and having cancer as key health predictors for SI, while identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) and BME were significant demographic predictors. Alcohol abstinence, having arthritis and higher empathy levels were protective against SI.
This study suggests that it could be useful to increase community support and sense of belonging using a public health approach for vulnerable groups (e.g. those with cancer) and peer support for people who identify as LGBTQ and/or BME. Also, interventions aimed at increasing empathic functioning may prove effective for reducing SI.
Apathy is a prevalent neuropsychiatric symptom for older adults residing in aged care. Left untreated, apathy has been associated with accelerated cognitive decline and increased risk of mortality. Reminiscence therapy is commonly used in aged care and has demonstrated to reduce apathy. Traditional methods of reminiscence use physical objects and more recently technology including tablets and laptop computers have demonstrated potential. Virtual reality (VR) has successfully been used to treat psychological disorders; however, there is little evidence on using VR for behavioural symptoms such as apathy in older adults. Using VR to deliver reminiscence therapy provides an immersive experience, and readily available applications provide access to a large range of content allowing easier delivery of therapy over traditional forms of therapy. This study aims to identify changes in apathy after a reminiscence therapy intervention using head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Participants will be allocated to one of three groups; reminiscence therapy using VR; an active control using a laptop computer or physical items and a passive control. A total of 45 participants will be recruited from residential aged care (15 in each group). The three groups will be compared at baseline and follow-up. The primary outcome is apathy, and secondary outcomes include cognition and depression. Side effects from using HMDs will also be examined in the VR group. Primary and secondary outcomes at baseline and follow-up will be analysed using linear mixed modelling.
Ethics approval was obtained from the University of South Australia Human Research Ethics Committee. The results from this study will be disseminated through manuscript publications and national/international conferences.
‘Task-shifting’ or ‘task-sharing’ is an effective strategy for delivering behavioural healthcare in lower resource communities. However, little is known regarding the actual steps (methods) in carrying out a task-shifting project. This paper presents a protocol for a systematic review that will identify steps in adapting an evidence-based psychological treatment for delivery by lay/non-licenced personnel.
A systematic review of peer-reviewed, published studies involving a non-licenced, non-specialist (eg, community health worker, promotor/a, peer and lay person) delivering an evidence-based psychological treatment for adults will be conducted. Study design of selected articles must include a statistical comparison (eg, randomised controlled trials, quasiexperimental trials, pre–post designs and pragmatic trials). Study selection will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, SCOPUS, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, APA PsycInfo and Google Scholar will be searched from 2000 to 2020. Risk of bias will be assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias (RoB 2) tool, and publication bias will be evaluated with the Cochrane GRADE approach. A narrative synthesis will be conducted for all included studies, and a summary table following Proctor’s framework for operationalising implementation strategies will be included. This protocol was developed following the 2015 guidelines of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols.
This review will analyse data from published studies only; thus, it will not require institutional board review. Findings will be presented at conferences, to the broader community via the Community Health Worker Translational Advisory Board and social media, and the final systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Commentary on: Richards JE, Hohl SD, Whiteside U, et al. If you listen, I will talk: the experience of being asked about suicidality during routine primary care. J Gen Intern Med 2019;34:2075–82. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05136-x.
Suicide screening in primary care is acceptable to people when they feel cared for, the assessor has time to listen and they are informed about what will happen. Suicide screening should not be limited to the use of measurement tools, more accurate assessment is achieved using a comprehensive clinical assessment.
Suicide screening in primary care is acceptable to people when they feel cared for, the assessor has time to listen and they are informed about what will happen.
Suicide screening should not be limited to the use of measurement tools, more accurate assessment is achieved using a comprehensive clinical assessment.
Suicide is preventable yet worldwide ~800 000 people die by suicide every year. Suicide prevention is a global public health priority
Commentary on: McDowell, C, Dishman, RK, Gordon, BR, et al. Physical activity and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Prev Med 2019;574:545–56.
The burden of anxiety disorders and symptoms can potentially be reduced by increasing physical activity at the population level. More studies require using prospective designs and rigorous measures for assessing anxiety and dosing of physical activity.
The burden of anxiety disorders and symptoms can potentially be reduced by increasing physical activity at the population level.
More studies require using prospective designs and rigorous measures for assessing anxiety and dosing of physical activity.
Anxiety is a debilitating
Commentary on: Blasco MJ, Vilagut G, Alayo I, et al. First-onset and persistence of suicidal ideation in university students: a one-year follow-up study. J Affect Disord 2019;256:192–204.
Planning strategies for both detection and interventions among students with suicidal ideation to decrease severe suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Creating universal strategies for promoting a sense of membership and connectedness will prevent suicide among first-year college students.
Planning strategies for both detection and interventions among students with suicidal ideation to decrease severe suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
Creating universal strategies for promoting a sense of membership and connectedness will prevent suicide among first-year college students.
Based on the current evidence suicidal thoughts and behaviour (STB) among university students has shown steady incline. Suicide is the second worldwide cause of death for those between ages 15 and 29.
Success rates of psychotherapy in post-traumatic stress disorder related to childhood maltreatment (PTSD-CM) are limited.
Observer-blind multicentre randomised clinical trial (A-1) of 4-year duration comparing enhanced methods of STAIR Narrative Therapy (SNT) and of trauma-focused psychodynamic therapy (TF-PDT) each of up to 24 sessions with each other and a minimal attention waiting list in PTSD-CM. Primary outcome is severity of PTSD (Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 total) assessed by masked raters. For SNT and TF-PDT, both superiority and non-inferiority will be tested. Intention-to-treat analysis (primary) and per-protocol analysis (secondary). Assessments at baseline, after 10 sessions, post-therapy/waiting period and at 6 and 12 months of follow-up. Adult patients of all sexes between 18 and 65 years with PTSD-CM will be included. Continuing stable medication is permitted. To be excluded: psychotic disorders, risk of suicide, ongoing abuse, acute substance related disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, organic mental disorder, severe medical conditions and concurrent psychotherapy. To be assessed for eligibility: n=600 patients, to be e randomly allocated to the study conditions: n=328. Data management, randomisation and monitoring will be performed by an independent European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN)-certified data coordinating centre for clinical trials (KKS Marburg). Report of AEs to a data monitoring and safety board. Complementing study A-1, four inter-related add-on projects, including subsamples of the treatment study A-1, will examine (1) treatment integrity (adherence and competence) and moderators and mediators of outcome (B-1); (2) biological parameters (B-2, eg, DNA damage, reactive oxygen species and telomere shortening); (3) structural and functional neural changes by neuroimaging (B-3) and (4) cost-effectiveness of the treatments (B-4, costs and utilities).
Approval by the institutional review board of the University of Giessen (AZ 168/19). Following the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement for non-pharmacological trials, results will be reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals and disseminated to patient organisations and media.
While nearly half of all new psychotic disorders are diagnosed in the emergency department (ED), most young people who present to the ED with psychosis do not receive timely follow-up with a psychiatrist, and even fewer with evidence-based early psychosis intervention (EPI) services. We aim to test an intervention delivered using short message service (SMS), a low-cost, low-complexity, youth-friendly approach, to improve transitions from the ED to EPI services.
This is a protocol for a pragmatic randomised, single blind, controlled trial with accompanying economic and qualitative evaluations conducted at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada. A consecutive series of 186 participants aged 16–29 referred by the ED to CAMH’s EPI programme will be recruited for a trial of a two-way intervention involving reminders, psychoeducation and check-ins delivered via SMS. The primary outcome will be attendance at the first consultation appointment within 30 days of study enrolment assessed through chart reviews in the electronic health record. We will also extract routine clinical measures, including the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Clinical Global Impression and Service Engagement Scale, and link with provincial health administrative data to examine system-level outcomes, including ED visits and psychiatric hospitalisations, 6 months and up to 2 years after baseline. We will perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of the primary study outcome and costs incurred, calculating an incremental cost effectiveness ratio. Web-based surveys and qualitative interviews will explore intervention user experience. Patients and families with lived experience will be engaged in all aspects of the project.
Research Ethics Board approval has been obtained. Findings will be reported in scientific journal articles and shared with key stakeholders including youth, family members, knowledge users and decision makers.
(1) To explore the role of ethnicity in receiving cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for people with psychosis or bipolar disorder while adjusting for differences in risk profiles and symptom severity. (2) To assess whether context of treatment (inpatient vs community) impacts on the relationship between ethnicity and access to CBT.
Cohort study of case register data from one catchment area (January 2007–July 2017).
A large secondary care provider serving an ethnically diverse population in London.
Data extracted for 30 497 records of people who had diagnoses of bipolar disorder (International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code F30-1) or psychosis (F20–F29 excluding F21). Exclusion criteria were:
ORs for receipt of CBT (single session or full course) as determined via multivariable logistic regression analyses.
In models adjusted for risk and severity variables, in comparison with White British people; Black African people were less likely to receive a single session of CBT (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.82, p
This study highlights disparity in receipt of CBT from a large provider of secondary care in London for Black African and Caribbean people and that the context of therapy (inpatient vs community settings) has a relationship with disparity in access to treatment.
Loneliness is a significant and independent risk factor for depression in later life. Particularly in Asian culture, older people may find it less stigmatising to express loneliness than depression. This study aimed to adapt a simple loneliness screen for use in older Chinese, and to ascertain its relevance in detecting depressive symptoms as a community screening tool.
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 1653 older adults aged 60 years or above living in the community in Hong Kong. This was a convenient sample recruited from four local non-governmental organisations providing community eldercare or mental healthcare services. All data was collected by trained social workers through face-to-face interviews.
Loneliness was measured using an adapted Chinese version of UCLA 3-item Loneliness Scale, depression symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and social support with emotional and instrumental support proxies (number of people who can offer help). Basic demographics including age, gender, education and living arrangement were also recorded.
The average loneliness score was 3.9±3.0, and it had a moderate correlation with depressive symptoms (r=0.41, p
A 3-item loneliness scale can reasonably identify older Chinese who are experiencing depressive symptoms as a quick community screening tool. Its wider use may facilitate early detection of depression, especially in cultures with strong mental health stigma.