Measuring the impact from physical health shocks on mental health


Epidemiological research has documented that physical health shocks, such as stroke, heart attack, and the onset of cancer, might trigger mental health conditions such as depression. Due to limitations in study designs, little conclusive evidence on this linkage exists. We hope to empirically look at this association, in hope of quantifying the impact in terms of costs and burden to the health system and providing policy insights on the care of physical health shock survivors.

ARC Yorkshire and the Humber looked at nine pre-COVID waves of the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA) surveys and found that a recent experience of a physical health shock increases the risk of depression by 36% among community dwelling older adults in England.

We are currently expanding the study population with the help of administrative data from the English National Health Service (NHS). Through linking physical health and mental health records, we are following a cohort of existing specialist mental health care users and looking at the impact of a recent stroke, heart attack, or a new cancer diagnosis on their mental health status, care utilisation, and costs of these activities.


Currently Underway

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Physical health shocks on the consumption of health care resources for the treatment of depression

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