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Impact of early intervention on the population prevalence of common mental disorders: 20-year prospective study

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journal contribution
posted on 07.02.2022, 00:00 authored by P Moran, M Moreno-Betancur, C Coffey, Liz SpryLiz Spry, G C Patton

t Background
t The potential for early interventions to reduce the later prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) first experienced in adolescence is unclear.
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t Aims
t To examine the course of CMD and evaluate the extent to which the prevalence of CMD could be reduced by preventing adolescent CMD, or by intervening to change four young adult processes, between the ages of 20 and 29 years, that could be mediating the link between adolescent and adult disorder.
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t Method
t This was a prospective cohort study of 1923 Australian participants assessed repeatedly from adolescence (wave 1, mean age 14 years) to adulthood (wave 10, mean age 35 years). Causal mediation analysis was undertaken to evaluate the extent to which the prevalence of CMD at age 35 years in those with adolescent CMD could be reduced by either preventing adolescent CMD, or by intervening on four young adult mediating processes: the occurrence of young adult CMD, frequent cannabis use, parenting a child by age 24 years, and engagement in higher education and employment.
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t Results
t At age 35, 19.2% of participants reported CMD; a quarter of these participants experienced CMD during both adolescence and young adulthood. In total, 49% of those with CMD during both adolescence and young adulthood went on to report CMD at age 35 years. Preventing adolescent CMD reduced the population prevalence at age 35 years by 3.9%. Intervening on all four young adult processes among those with adolescent CMD, reduced this prevalence by 1.6%.
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t Conclusions
t In this Australian cohort, a large proportion of adolescent CMD resolved by adulthood, and by age 35 years, the largest proportion of CMD emerged among individuals without prior CMD. Time-limited, early intervention in those with earlier adolescent disorder is unlikely to substantially reduce the prevalence of CMD in midlife.
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History

Journal

British Journal of Psychiatry

Article number

PII S0007125022000034

Pagination

1 - 9

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, England

ISSN

0007-1250

eISSN

1472-1465

Language

English

Notes

In press

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal