Psychological Morbidity of Farmers and Non-farming Population: Results from a UK Survey
- 605 Downloads
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
- Boulanger, S., Deaville, J., Randall-Smith, J., & Wynn-Jones, J. (1999a). Farm suicide in rural Wales—a review of the services in Powys and Ceredigion. Powys: Institute of Rural Health.Google Scholar
- Boulanger, S., Gilman, A., & Deaville, J. (1999b). Farmers’ stress survey. Powys: Institute of Rural Health.Google Scholar
- Bowling, A. (1997). Measuring health: a review of quality of life measurement scales (2nd ed.). Buckingham and Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- BHPS, British Household Panel Survey. (2010). http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/survey/bhps. Accesses 6 Aug 2010.
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Das, A. (2009). Farmers’ suicide in India: implications for public mental health. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. Epub ahead of print, doi: 10.1177/0020764009103645.
- DEFRA, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (2010a). Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy—indicator data sheet. http://www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/foodfarm/general/indicators/documents/c704.pdf. Accessed 6 Aug 2010.
- DEFRA, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (2010b). Statistics Digest 2008 http://www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/foodfarm/farmmanage/earningshours/documents/StatsDigest2008.pdf. Accessed 6 August 2010.
- Eisner, C. S., Neal, R. D., & Scaife, B. (1998). Depression and anxiety in farmers. Primary Care Psychiatry, 4, 101–105.Google Scholar
- GHQ-12, General Health Questionnaire. (2010). http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/health_and_psychology/resources/general_health_questionnaire/faqs.asp?css=1 Accessed 6 August 2010.
- Goldberg, D., & Williams, P. (1988). A user’s guide to the general health questionnaire. Basingstoke: NferNelson Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Hawton, K., Simkin, S., Malmberg, A., Fagg, J., & Harriss, L. (1998). Suicide and stress in farmers. London: TSO.Google Scholar
- HSE, Health Survey for England. (2010). http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/PublishedSurvey/HealthSurveyForEngland/DH_632. Accesses 6 Aug 2010.
- McDowell, I. (2006). Measuring health: a guide to rating scales and questionnaires (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- McGregor, M., Willock, J., & Deary, I. (1995). Farmer stress. Journal of Farm Management, 9, 59–65.Google Scholar
- Murphy, H., & Lloyd, K. (2007). Civil conflict in Northern Ireland and the prevalence of psychiatric disturbance across the United Kingdom: a population study using the British household panel survey and the Northern Ireland household panel survey. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 53, 397–407.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Murphy, H., & Lloyd, K. (2009). Gender as a risk factor in minor psychiatric morbidity in the United Kingdom. The Internet Journal of Epidemiolog, 6, 2.Google Scholar
- National Assembly for Wales. (2001). Farming for the future. Cardiff: National Assembly for Wales.Google Scholar
- Office for National Statistics. (2010). Annual Abstract of Statistics. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/product.asp?vlnk=94. Accessed 6 Aug 2010.
- Prajapati, B., Dunne, M., & Armstrong R. (2010). Sample size estimation and statistical power analyses. Optometry Today, 16/07.Google Scholar
- SHeS, Scottish Health Survey. (2010). (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/scottish-health-survey. Accessed 6 Aug 2010.
- Sturgeon, R., & Morrissette, P. J. (2010). A qualitative analysis of suicide ideation among Manitoban farmers. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 44, 2.Google Scholar
- The UK Met Office (2010). UK climate and weather statistics. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/climate.html. Accessed 6 Aug 2010.
- WHO, World Health Organization. (2010). Suicide. http://www.who.int/topics/suicide/en/. Accessed 6 Aug 2010.