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Chronic diseases may negatively affect the mental health of poor and middle-income adults

In a study of more than 8,000 adults, those with a chronic health condition such as diabetes or asthma were more likely to report psychological distress and functional impairment if they were residents of poor or middle-income households. There was no significant association between chronic disease and distress for individuals from higher-income households.

“The findings suggest that a person’s physical and mental well-being are tied closely to one another. They also highlight the importance of getting health care providers the support and resources needed to screen and address the physical and mental health concerns of their patients,” said Dr. Jeffrey Duong, co-author of the Journal of Community Psychology study. “Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services has sought to promote the implementation of integrated models of care in community health settings, which may enable providers to better identify and intervene in their patients’ medical and behavioral health problems sooner, thereby improving health outcomes.”

Study: Household Income Level As A Moderator Of Associations Between Chronic Health Conditions And Serious Mental Illness, Duong, J. and Bradshaw, C. P., Journal of Community Psychology, doi: 10.1002/jcop.21774, published online 9 March 2016.