Publication - Research and analysis

Scottish COVID-19 Mental Health Tracker Study: Wave 4 Report

Wave 4 findings (data collected between 4 February and 9 March 2021.) indicate that young adults, women, people with physical and/or mental health conditions, and people in a lower socio-economic group are more likely to report experiencing poor mental health.

Scottish COVID-19 Mental Health Tracker Study: Wave 4 Report
Footnotes

Footnotes

1. SEG measure categories AB-C1-C2-DE. Higher SEG (i.e., top-half): AB = Higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations, C1 = Supervisory, clerical & junior managerial, administrative, professional occupations. Lower SEG (i.e., bottom-half): C2 = Skilled manual occupations, DE = Semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, unemployed and lowest grade occupations. (ONS, 2001).

2. Findings in this category were based on responses to questions on the mental health measure called the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9; Kroenke et al., 2001), which assesses frequency of depressive symptoms over the previous two weeks. The term 'depressive symptoms' is used for those who meet the cut-off for moderate to severe depressive symptoms, which indicates a possible need treatment.

3. Anxiety symptoms were assessed using the mental health measure called the Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7; Spitzer et al., 2006) scale, which asks about frequency of anxiety symptoms in the last 2 weeks. The term 'anxiety symptoms' is used for those who meet the cut-off for moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, which indicates a possible need for treatment.

4. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) is a psychological measure that assesses mental distress and mental ill-health in the previous two weeks. GHQ-12 scores of four or more are deemed a high GHQ-12 score and indicates the presence of a possible psychiatric disorder (McLean et al., 2018). The term 'psychological distress' is used for those who have a high GHQ-12 score.

5. Mental wellbeing was measured using the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS): respondents are awarded a wellbeing score by adding together 7 questions (range: very low wellbeing =7, very high wellbeing =35). Average scores (means) are used to investigate differences between subgroups.

6. Loneliness was measured using the 3 item UCLA Loneliness Scale (Hughes et al., 2014). Mean loneliness scores are reported with a range of 3 (no loneliness) to 9 (high loneliness).

7. Social support was measured using four questions from the ENRICHD Social Support Instrument (ESSI; Mitchel et al., 2003). Mean social support scores are reported, with a range of 4 (low social support) to 20 (high social support).

8. To measure levels of distress, respondents indicated on a 10-point scale how distressed they had felt in the past week, on a range of 0 (no distress) to 10 (extreme distress), mean scores are reported.

9. Current life satisfaction was assessed with 'All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole nowadays?' with 0 indicating extremely dissatisfied to 10, indicating extremely satisfied.

10. For literature on the mental health and wellbeing impacts of the COVID-19 and SARS pandemics see the background section of the Scottish COVID-19 Mental Health Tracker Study: Wave 3 Report.

11. Findings from the first three waves of the UK COVID-MH study (O'Connor et al., 2020)

12. For further information see how Scotland transitioned out of lockdown

13. For further information on COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland: www.gov.scot/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-scotlands-route-map/#phase1-routemapthroughandoutofthecrisis

14. The inferential statistics used to test differences between subgroups include chi square tests and one-way ANVOAs. For all tests a p-value equal to or smaller than 0.05 was used as a cut-off for statistical significance.

15. The statistical tests to assess changes across the waves included Repeated Measures ANOVAs and General Estimating Equation (GEE) Models. For all tests a p-value equal to or smaller than 0.05 used as a cut-off for statistical significance.

16. For the purposes of this report, scores above the cut-off for moderate to severe depression (score ≥10) are tracked so as to mirror the most commonly used indicator in mental health research, and which suggests that treatment (psychotherapy or medication) may be recommended.

17. Measured using the Patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) using a cut-off score ≥10 to indicate moderate to severe depression

18. Measured using the Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) scale, using a cut-off score ≥10 to indicate moderate to severe anxiety

19. Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS) © NHS Health Scotland, University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh, 2008, all rights reserved. As suggested by the scale authors, the scores underwent a Rasch transformation.

20. Data available: Mid-Year Population Estimates | National Records of Scotland (nrscotland.gov.uk)

21. Data available: Census 2011: Release 3I | National Records of Scotland (nrscotland.gov.uk)


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