3-13

3-13. Psychological distress (anxiety and depression)

3-13-1. Psychological distress in South Australia – by Local Health Network

3-13-2. Psychological distress in South Australia – by age and sex

3-13-3. Psychological distress in South Australia – by socio-economic status

3-13-4. Psychological distress in Australia – by state and territory

3-13-5. Psychological distress – Aboriginal people

Sources

 

3-13-1. Psychological distress in South Australia – by Local Health Network

  • In 2017, around one in eight (11.9%) South Australians aged 18 years or more had recently experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress1.
  • Levels of psychological distress are defined using the Kessler 10 Item (K10) Psychological Distress Questionnaire, a checklist to measure whether a person may have been affected by anxiety and depression during the past four weeks.
  • The rate varies between local health networks (LHNs) from 6.3% in the Riverland Mallee Coorong LHN to 17.9% in the Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local LHN1.
  • The proportion of high to very high levels of psychological distress reported amongst residents of metropolitan Adelaide (11.4%) is statistically significantly lower than Country SA (13.0%)
  • No statistically significant trend was identified in the metropolitan Adelaide or Country SA time series1.

 

High or very high levels of psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2017
Local Health Network %
Northern Adelaide 14.7%
Central Adelaide 10.8%
Southern Adelaide 9.5%
Metropolitan Adelaide 11.4%
Barossa Hills Fleurieu 17.9%
Eyre and Far North 6.5%*
Flinders and Upper North 10.9%
Riverland Mallee Coorong 6.3%
South East 9.1%
Yorke & Northern 15.1%
Country SA 13.0%
South Australia 11.9%
Australia n.a.

3-13-1

* Relative Standard Error is between 25% and 50%. Please treat the estimate with caution.

Data source: SA Health 2018

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3-13-2. Psychological distress in South Australia – by age and sex

  • In 2017, the proportion of the population aged 18 years and over that had recently experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress was higher for females (14.7%) than males (9.0%)1.
  • Levels of psychological distress are defined using the Kessler 10 Item (K10) Psychological Distress Questionnaire, a checklist to measure whether a person may have been affected by anxiety and depression during the past four weeks.
  • The extent to which people reported high to very high levels of psychological distress varied with age with prevalence particularly high in the 18-24 and 25-34 years age cohorts for females1.

 


High or very high levels of psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2017
Age (years) Males Females
18-24 11.7% 23.3%
25-34 10.1% 24.7%
35-44 9.2% 14.9%
45-54 9.3% 12.9%
55-64 11.9% 12.5%
65-74 3.2% 14.4%
75+ 2.8% 3.5%
All ages 9.0% 14.7%

3-13-2

Data source: SA Health 2018

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3-13-3. Psychological distress in South Australia – by socio-economic status

  • In 2017, there was no statistically significant correlation between the proportion of people aged 18 years and over who have recently experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress and the socio-economic status of the geographic area in which they live1.
  • Levels of psychological distress are defined using the Kessler 10 Item (K10) Psychological Distress Questionnaire, a checklist to measure whether a person may have been affected by anxiety and depression during the past four weeks.
  • The prevalence of high to very high psychological distress in areas constituting South Australia's lowest socio-economic (SES) quintile (17.1%) is higher than that of the highest SES quintile (9.8%)1.

 

High or very high levels of psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2017
Socio-economic status (SES) %
Lowest SES 17.1%
Low SES 11.3%
Middle SES 13.4%
High SES 9.5%
Highest SES 9.8%

3-13-3

Data source: SA Health 2018

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3-13-4. Psychological distress in Australia – by state and territory

  • Data presented here is from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2017-18 National Health Survey for people aged 18 years and over reporting living with high or very high levels of psychological distress as a long-term condition. It is not directly comparable to the information in 3-13-1 to 3-13-3 above.
  • Levels of psychological distress are defined using the Kessler 10 Item (K10) Psychological Distress Questionnaire, a checklist to measure whether a person may have been affected by anxiety and depression during the past four weeks.
  • The national survey results are broadly in line with the state-based figures, showing that 13.5% (age-standardised) of the population in South Australia are living with high or very high levels of psychological distress as a condition which has lasted, or is expected to last, for 6 months or more2.
  • The South Australian rate is roughly equivalent to the Australian average of 13.0% (age standardised) and ranks third-highest of the states and territories2.

 

Living with high/very high psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2017–18 (age-standardised)
State/Territory %
Australian Capital Territory 11.1%
Northern Territory 11.6%
Western Australia 12.2%
New South Wales 12.8%
Victoria 12.9%
South Australia 13.5%
Tasmania 13.7%
Queensland 14.0%
Australia 13.0%

3-13-4

Data source: ABS 2018

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3-13-5. Psychological distress – Aboriginal people

  • Over a third (36.2%) of Aboriginal people in South Australia aged 18 years or more have recently experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress3.
  • Levels of psychological distress are defined here using the Kessler 5 Item (K5) Psychological Distress Questionnaire, a subset of five questions from the Kessler 10 Item (K10) Psychological Distress Questionnaire, a checklist to measure whether a person may have been affected by anxiety and depression during the past four weeks.
  • As such, this indicator is not directly comparable with the all-person figures in 3-13-4 above.
  • South Australia's rate was above the national average for Aboriginal people of 30.7%, and is ranked highest of the states and territories3.

 

Living with high/very high psychological distress - Aboriginal people (aged 18+ years), 2018-19 (crude rates)
State/Territory %
Northern Territory 26.3%
Australian Capital Territory 28.6%
New South Wales 29.9%
Queensland 30.2%
Tasmania 30.9%
Western Australia 31.8%
Victoria 36.0%
South Australia 36.2%
Australia 30.7%

3-13-5

Data source: ABS 2019

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Sources

  1. Based on South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System customised extract 2018, Prevention and Population Health, SA Health, Adelaide, 16 August 2018.
  2. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2018), ‘Table 2.3 Summary health characteristics — States and territories, Proportion of persons’, National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18, cat. no. 4364.0.55.001, 12 December 2018.
  3. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2019), 'Table 3.3 Selected health characteristics, by State/Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, 2018–19, Proportion of persons,' National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2018-19, cat. no. 4715.0, 11 December 2019.