The Malta Independent 22 February 2018, Thursday

More men than women were involuntarily admitted into mental health institutions in 2016

Rebecca Iversen Tuesday, 30 January 2018, 11:47 Last update: about 23 days ago

In 2016, 429 different persons were admitted for involuntary admission for observation within mental health institutions. 57% were men whilst 43 % were women.

The information comes from the Commissioner for Mental Health’s annual report for 2016, which was published late last week.

The annual report is a fully comprehensive analysis of data and evaluation of mental health patients and employers directly related to mental health institutions: including age and gender; relative risk and geographical characteristics; disease burden; and re-admissions.

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Of the 429 persons who were involuntarily admitted, 393 (91.6%) were adults and 36 (8.4%) were minors aged less than 18 years.

The gender ratio was 245 males (57.1%) and 184 (42.9%) females. Almost 32% were adolescents and youth aged less than 30 years and 25% were adults aged 30-45 years, confirming the high burden of mental disorder in younger segments of society.

About one-fifth of admissions were persons aged 60 years or more. From a gender perspective, the data is statistically significant, with females at the extremes of age (less than 18 years and more than 60 years) and males between 18 and 44 years of age being more heavily represented.

Whilst 81% were Maltese citizens, 8.9% of acute admissions were displaced persons or refugees or asylum seekers, and 7.2% were non-Maltese EU/EEA citizens. The report concludes that these two new groups for acute mental disorder are emerging rapidly within our society.

Analysis by geographical distribution shows appreciable relative risk differences within the native population, that are more marked for females. As expected relative risk is much higher for persons in residential care with an 8.5-fold higher risk (worse for females), followed closely by a 7-fold risk among displaced persons (4 times worse for males compared to females) and a 3-fold risk for foreign workers (again worse for females).

Geographical characteristics were also evaluated, and although small, the relative risk of acute involuntary admission was much higher in residents from the Southern Harbour region compared to Gozo and the Western region. However, rates in the Northern region have begun to increase over the last two years.

Schizophrenia, mood disorders and substance abuse represent more than 75% of the total acute disease burden. There are notable differences in the distribution by gender with schizophrenia being more common among males and mood disorders more frequent among women.

Furthermore, the report covers that drug and alcohol abuse admissions where the majority based on whilst men were three times more likely than females to admitted for such issues.

 

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