Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/148789
Title: The public health impact and policy implications of online support group use for mental health in Singapore : cross-sectional survey
Authors: Roystonn, Kumarasan
Vaingankar, Janhavi Ajit
Chua, Boon Yiang
Sambasivam, Rajeswari
Shafie, Saleha
Jeyagurunathan, Anitha
Verma, Swapna
Abdin, Edimansyah
Chong, Siow Ann
Subramaniam, Mythily
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Roystonn, K., Vaingankar, J. A., Chua, B. Y., Sambasivam, R., Shafie, S., Jeyagurunathan, A., Verma, S., Abdin, E., Chong, S. A. & Subramaniam, M. (2020). The public health impact and policy implications of online support group use for mental health in Singapore : cross-sectional survey. JMIR Mental Health, 7(8). https://dx.doi.org/10.2196/18114
Journal: JMIR Mental Health
Abstract: Background: The wide mental health treatment gap continues to pose a global and local public health challenge. Online support groups are on the rise and could be used to complement formal treatment services for mental health. Objective: This study aimed to examine the prevalence of online support group use and explore factors associated with the use in the general population using data from a national cross-sectional mental health survey in Singapore. Methods: Singapore residents aged 18 years and above participated in a nationally representative household survey in which the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview 3.0 was administered by trained interviewers to examine the use of online support groups for mental health. Multiple logistic regressions were used to analyze the association of online support group use with various sociodemographic and health factors. Results: A total of 6110 respondents with complete data were included in this study. Overall, 10 individuals per 1000 adults (1%) reported seeking help from online support groups for their mental health problems. Compared to younger adults (those aged 18 to 34 years) and those with university education, individuals aged 50 to 64 years (P<.001; OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.0-0.3) and those with preuniversity qualifications (P=.02; OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.0-0.8) were less likely to use online support groups for mental health, respectively. Participants with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) mental disorder were 6.8 times more likely (P<.001; 95% CI 3.0-15.4) to use an online support group; in particular, individuals with major depressive disorder (P<.001; OR 5.4, 95% CI 2.1-13.8) and obsessive compulsive disorder (P=.01; OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.7) were more likely to use an online support group for their mental health. Conclusions: Online support groups could be used to complement formal treatment services, especially for mood and anxiety-related disorders. As online support group use for mental health issues may be more prevalent among younger people, early detection and accurate information in online support groups may guide individuals toward seeking professional help for their mental health problems.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/148789
ISSN: 2368-7959
DOI: 10.2196/18114
Rights: © Kumarasan Roystonn, Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar, Boon Yiang Chua, Rajeswari Sambasivam, Saleha Shafie, Anitha Jeyagurunathan, Swapna Verma, Edimansyah Abdin, Siow Ann Chong, Mythily Subramaniam. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health (http://mental.jmir.org), 04.08.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Mental Health, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://mental.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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