Self-Reported Well-Being Indicators and Case Identification of Common Mental Health Disorders in Routinely Collected Health Data

Main Article Content

Daniel Thompson
Ann John
Richard Fry
Alan Watkins


Common mental health disorders (CMD) are significant contributors to impaired health and well-being, and drive greater health resource utilisation. Electronic health records (EHR) are increasingly used for case identification of CMD when ascertaining social determinants of mental health. We seek to compare self-reported well-being indicators in groups identified using EHR-based CMD methods.

Objectives and Approach
The National Survey for Wales (NSW) contains self-reported well-being indicators (Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, WEMWBS) recorded annually on ~7,000 individuals. We combined data from two NSWs and linked well-being indicators with Welsh Longitudinal General Practice (WLGP) data within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank, using individual response dates. We then used WGLP data to algorithmically derive identifiers of CMD cases within survey respondents. This individual-level linkage enables a comparison of NSW responses in CMD and non-CMD cases, and to assess sensitivity and specificity of the current CMD algorithm.

Survey participants comprised 18,450 adults aged 16+ and living in Wales during 16/17 or 18/19. WEMWBS responses indicate 2,338 (12.6%) participants could be considered possibly depressed, and 2,268 (12.3%) probably depressed with low mental well-being (LMW). For participants with LMW, a 42/58 percentage split is observed between male/female respondents, compared to a 45/55 respective split of those not identified with LMW. Participants with LMW recorded low measures for overall satisfaction with life, 998 (44%) reported a value of 5 or less (/10) compared to 1123 (7%) participants not identified with LMW. Similarly, 828 (37%) participants identified with LMW reported 5 or less (/10) on the life worthwhile index, compared to 800 (5%) of non-LMW participants.

Conclusion / Implications
Linkage to the NSW provides a rich data source to compare objective well-being to algorithmically derived CMD cases from routinely collected primary care data. The individual-level linkage involved will allow for the wider determinants of mental health disorders to be examined.

Article Details

How to Cite
Thompson, D., John, A., Fry, R. and Watkins, A. (2020) “Self-Reported Well-Being Indicators and Case Identification of Common Mental Health Disorders in Routinely Collected Health Data”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(5). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i5.1618.

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