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 2015, one in ten (10.0%) South Australians aged 18 years or more had recently experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
  • 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 is highest in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (LHN) at 14.4%.
  • High to very high levels of psychological distress in metropolitan Adelaide overall (10.2%) are effectively equivalent to that of Country SA (9.7%), taking into account sampling margin of error.
  • A statistically significant decreasing trend over the last decade in the proportion of people reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress was identified in the metropolitan Adelaide series, but not Country SA.

 

High or very high levels of psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2015
Local Health Network%
Northern Adelaide LHN14.4%
Central Adelaide LHN6.7%
Southern Adelaide LHN10.5%
Metropolitan Adelaide10.2%
Country SA LHN9.7%
South Australia10.0%
Australian.a.

3-13-1

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

  • In 2015, 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 (12.5%) than males (7.3%).
  • 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 females and 35-44 years for males.

 


High or very high levels of psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2015
Age (years)MalesFemales
18-245.7%15.9%
25-348.9%16.9%
35-4413.0%12.1%
45-548.1%13.1%
55-645.7%12.1%
65-744.5%9.0%
75+1.6%7.0%
All ages7.3%12.5%

3-13-2

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

  • In 2015, 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 live.
  • 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.
  • However, the prevalence of high to very high psychological distress in areas constituting South Australia's lowest socio-economic (SES) quintile (13.8%) is much higher than for other areas.

 

High or very high levels of psychological distress (aged 18+ years), 2015
Socio-economic status (SES)%
Lowest SES13.8%
Low SES10.0%
Middle SES11.1%
High SES7.6%
Highest SES8.3%

3-13-3

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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’ 2014-15 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 2015 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.
  • However, the national survey results are broadly in line with the state-based figures, showing that 13.6% of the age-standardised 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 more. This is an increase over the 11.4% reported in the previous survey (for 2011-12).
  • The South Australian rate is a little higher than the Australia-wide rate of 11.8% and estimated to be higher than all states and territories except Tasmania.

 


High/very high psychological distress, people (aged 18+ years), 2014–15 (age-standardised)
State/Territory%
Northern Territory8.1%
Western Australia9.9%
Australian Capital Territory11.0%
New South Wales11.1%
Queensland12.0%
Victoria12.5%
South Australia13.6%
Tasmania14.0%
Australia11.8%

3-13-4

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3-13-5. Psychological distress – Aboriginal people

  • Around a third (31.8%) of Aboriginal people in South Australia aged 15 years or more have recently experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
  • 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, and because it is based on data collected for 2012-13 rather than 2011-12, 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 30.1%, ranking this jurisdiction second highest of the states and territories.

 


Psychological distress - Aboriginal people (aged 15+ years), 2012-13
State/Territory%
Northern Territory23.3%
Tasmania26.5%
Western Australia29.8%
Australian Capital Territory30.3%
Queensland31.1%
New South Wales31.2%
South Australia31.8%
Victoria32.3%
Australia30.1%

3-13-5

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Sources

  1. Based on Health Information Portal database 2016, 'Management Reporting, Reports, South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System Online, Psychological Distress K10 (Age 18+)', SA Health, Adelaide, accessed 14 December 2016.
  2. Based on ABS 2015, ‘Table 2.3 Summary health characteristics — States and territories, Proportion of persons’, National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15, cat. no. 4364.0.55.001, viewed 6 June 2016.
  3. ABS 2014, 'Table 12.3 Smoker status, by State/Territory by sex, Proportion of persons', Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: Updated results 2012-13, cat no 4727.0.55.006, viewed 08 October 2014.