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Predictors of self-reported medication use for mental health problems

The HRB National Psychological Wellbeing and Distress Survey (NPWDS) found that 14% of respondents reported a mental, nervous or emotional problem in the previous year and that 6% of the sample had taken prescribed medication for mental health problems in the previous year. The main objective of this research was to examine the predictors of self-reported prescribed medication use for mental problems in individuals who self report mental, nervous or emotional problems.

Recent figures from the Irish National Advisory Committee on Drugs (2008) showed that 9% of 15 to 64 year olds in Ireland had used sedatives, tranquillisers or anti-depressants in 2007. Evidently, there are individuals who are experiencing mental problems that are not using prescribed medication as a treatment for these problems.

This research examines the data from the NPWDS more closely by investigating the impact of the socio-demographic, health and psychological variables on reported use of prescribed medication for mental problems.  Four broad classification variables were investigated as possible predictors, namely socio-demographic variables, primary care service use, perceived health status and perceived experience of limitations in social and physical functioning.