Social support and delusional-like experiences: a nationwide population-based study

Saha, S., Scott, J., Varghese, D. and McGrath, J. (2012) Social support and delusional-like experiences: a nationwide population-based study. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 21 2: 203-212. doi:10.1017/S2045796011000862

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Author Saha, S.
Scott, J.
Varghese, D.
McGrath, J.
Title Social support and delusional-like experiences: a nationwide population-based study
Journal name Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2045-7960
Publication date 2012-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S2045796011000862
Volume 21
Issue 2
Start page 203
End page 212
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background. Population-based studies have identified that delusional-like experiences (DLEs) are common in the general population. While there is a large literature exploring the relationship between poor social support and risk of mental illness, there is a lack of empirical data examining the association of poor social support and DLEs. The aim of the study was to explore the association between social support and DLEs using a large, nationally representative community sample.
Methods. Subjects were drawn from a national multistage probability survey of 8841 adults aged between 16 and 85 years. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to identify DLEs, common psychiatric disorders and physical disorders. Eight questions assessed various aspects of social support with spouse/partners and other family and friends. We examined the relationship between DLEs and social support using logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounding factors.
Results. Of the sample, 8.4% (n = 776) positively endorsed one or more DLEs. Individuals who (a) had the least contact with friends, or (b) could not rely on or confide in spouse/partner, family or friends were significantly more likely to endorse DLEs. The associations remained significant after adjusting for a range of potential confounding factors.
Conclusions. DLEs are associated with impoverished social support in the general population. While we cannot exclude the possibility that the presence of isolated DLEs results in a reduction of social support, we speculate that poor social support may contribute in a causal fashion to the risk of DLEs.
Keyword Delusional-like experiences
Social support
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 20:18:43 EST by Sheila Cleary on behalf of Psychiatry - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital