Prevalence of psychological distress, anxiety and depression in rural communities in Australia

Kilkkinen, Annamari, Kao-Philpot, Anna, O'Neil, Adrienne, Philpot, Ben, Reddy, Prasuna, Bunker, Stephen and Dunbar, James 2007, Prevalence of psychological distress, anxiety and depression in rural communities in Australia, Australian journal of rural health, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 114-119, doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2007.00863.x.

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Title Prevalence of psychological distress, anxiety and depression in rural communities in Australia
Author(s) Kilkkinen, Annamari
Kao-Philpot, Anna
O'Neil, Adrienne
Philpot, Ben
Reddy, Prasuna
Bunker, Stephen
Dunbar, JamesORCID iD for Dunbar, James
Journal name Australian journal of rural health
Volume number 15
Issue number 2
Start page 114
End page 119
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Carlton, Vic.
Publication date 2007-04
ISSN 1038-5282
Keyword(s) Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
Kessler 10
population survey
risk factor
Summary Objective: To describe the prevalence of psychological distress, depression and anxiety in three Australian rural settings and to identify the levels of risk by gender and age.

Design and setting: Three cross-sectional surveys in the Greater Green Triangle area covering the south-east of South Australia (Limestone Coast), and south-west (Corangamite Shire) and north-west (Wimmera) of Victoria.

Participants: A total of 1563 people, aged 25–74 years, randomly selected from the electoral roll.

Main outcome measures: Psychological distress assessed by the Kessler 10, and anxiety and depression assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: The prevalence of psychological distress was 31% for both men and women with two-thirds reporting moderate and one-third high levels of psychological distress. The prevalence of depression and anxiety was approximately 10%. The highest rate of psychological distress, anxiety and depression occurred in the 45–54 years age group. There were no consistent gender or area differences in the prevalence of psychological distress, depression or anxiety.

Conclusions: A third of the rural population reported psychological distress, with the highest prevalence observed in middle-aged men and women. Thus, health professionals should attend not only to physical health, but also to mental health status in this age group. It is also important to target prevention strategies at the 20% who reported moderate levels of psychological distress in order to prevent the development of more serious conditions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2007.00863.x
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2007, Greater Health, & National Rural Health Alliance Inc. (journal comompilation)
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
Higher Education Research Group
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