Reuter, A., Vollmer, S., Aiyub, A., Susanti, S. S., & Marthoenis, M. (2020). Mental distress and its association with sociodemographic and economic characteristics: community-based household survey in Aceh, Indonesia. BJPsych open, 6(6), e134. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.108
Background: The role of sociodemographic and economic characteristics in mental distress has been rarely investigated in Indonesia.
Aims: To investigate the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) and identify any associations between mental distress and sociodemographic and economic characteristics among communities living in urban and rural (peri-urban) areas.
Method: A community-based household survey was conducted in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, in 2018. The 20-item Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) screening tool was used to measure symptoms of CMD. Information on sociodemographic characteristics, family functioning, labour market outcomes and healthcare costs was collected. Multivariate regressions were conducted to analyse the relationships between the measures of mental distress and sociodemographic and economic characteristics.
Results: We found that 14% of the respondents had CMD symptoms. SRQ-20 scores were higher for female, older and lower-educated individuals. CMD prevalence was higher among non-married participants and clustered within families. Participants with CMD perceive their families as performing significantly better in the dimensions of affective involvement and behaviour control compared with their counterparts. Their work was more often affected by negative feelings; they were also twice as likely to report a recent physical or mental health complaint and faced twice the treatment costs compared with their non-affected counterparts.
Conclusions: The prevalence of mental disorders is especially high in disadvantaged population groups. Moreover, mental distress is associated with a lower perceived productivity and a higher physical health burden.