Psychological Morbidity of Farmers and Non-farming Population: Results from a UK Survey
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The relatively high rate of suicide among UK farmers suggests that they may suffer greater mental health problems than the general population. This paper provides a comparison of the psychological morbidity of farmers and their partners/spouses with non-farmers. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was administered using face-to-face interviews with 784 attendees of agricultural shows in the UK. Results show that GHQ-12 scores for farmers and their partners/spouses were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than those for the non-farming population, indicating higher psychological morbidity among farmer families. Approximately 35% of farmers had scores 12 and higher (recommended cut-off for psychiatric disorders), compared to 27% of non-farmers. Within the farmers group, male respondents, those aged from 45 to 64, self-employed or not in paid employment, having a non-supervisory position and living in a rural area were characterized by higher mean GHQ-12 scores compared to correspondent subgroups from the non-farming population.
KeywordsFarmer health GHQ-12 Rural health Mental health Wales
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