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Findings

Mental Health

  • Emotional, nervous and psychiatric conditions remained at a high prevalence, with almost 52% of participants reporting having received a doctor’s diagnosis.

  • Depression, anxiety and mood disorders were the main contributors to poor mental health.

  • Rates of depression and mood swings decreased from Wave 1 to Wave 3.

  • The incidence of newly-diagnosed mental health conditions, from Wave 2 to Wave 3, was low at 2.0%.

  • Participants with Down syndrome reported fewer mental health conditions (26.2%) than those without Down syndrome.

  • Participants who self-reported were more likely to rate their mental and emotional health as excellent/very good/good (92.9%) than those with joint self/proxy (78.2%) or proxy only (70.8%) responses. This represented the highest self-rating of positive mental health to date across the three waves.

  • Prevalence of depression, as measured using the Glasgow Depression Scale for people with a Learning Disability (GDS-LD), was significantly higher than that in the general population with 10% of participants reporting symptoms

  • There was no significant difference in prevalence of depression between those in institutions (11.1%) and community group homes (11.3%).

  • Prevalence of anxiety, as measured using the Glasgow Anxiety Scale for people with a Learning Disability (GAS-LD), was similar to that in the mainstream population with 15.1% reporting symptoms. Anxiety was more frequently reported in those living in community settings than in institutions.

  • The mean score for the Energy and Vitality Index (EVI) was 68.3, similar to that reported for the general older population in Ireland.