Parallel contagion phenomenon of concordant mental disorders among married couples: A nationwide cohort study

Jong Yi Wang, Ming Hong Hsieh, Pei Ching Lin, Chiu Shong Liu, Jen De Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background The aggregation of mental disorders in couples, as reported by prior research, indicates the effect of familial environments and warrants attention. However, the concordant categories of mental disorders in couples remain unclear. This study investigated spousal concordance for the category of mental disorders among couples throughout Taiwan by using factors associated with such disorders. Methods 5643 couples in the 2002-2013 Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database were analysed and compared with propensity-matched 5643 non-couples. Twelve independent variables, including spouse and shared characteristics, and the category of mental disorders were analysed, mainly by using multinomial logistic regression. Results The determined prevalence rates for concordant categories of mental disorder were 0.19% for affective disorders, 6.96% for anxiety disorders, and 3.15% of other mental disorders. Multinomial logistic regression results revealed that two spouses were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with the same category of the aforementioned mental disorders (ORs=2.914, 1.776 and 1.727, respectively). Other associated factors included gender, age, occupation, comorbidity and region. The odds of concordances were significantly higher in couples than in non-couples. Conclusions A category of mental disorder in one spouse is a determinant of that in the other spouse. This study extended the emotional contagion theory to the phenomenon of parallel contagion to reflect the three concordances, suggesting a direction of family-based mental health intervention, particularly prevention for the same category of mental disorders in couples. Policymakers should strengthen the coping strategies of the caring spouse and external support system to psychiatrically vulnerable families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-647
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume71
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1

Fingerprint

Mental Disorders
Cohort Studies
Spouses
Taiwan
Logistic Models
National Health Programs
Anxiety Disorders
Mood Disorders
Occupations
Research
Comorbidity
Mental Health
Databases

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Wang, Jong Yi ; Hsieh, Ming Hong ; Lin, Pei Ching ; Liu, Chiu Shong ; Chen, Jen De. / Parallel contagion phenomenon of concordant mental disorders among married couples : A nationwide cohort study. In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2017 ; Vol. 71, No. 7. pp. 640-647.
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Parallel contagion phenomenon of concordant mental disorders among married couples : A nationwide cohort study. / Wang, Jong Yi; Hsieh, Ming Hong; Lin, Pei Ching; Liu, Chiu Shong; Chen, Jen De.

In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 71, No. 7, 01.07.2017, p. 640-647.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Parallel contagion phenomenon of concordant mental disorders among married couples

T2 - A nationwide cohort study

AU - Wang, Jong Yi

AU - Hsieh, Ming Hong

AU - Lin, Pei Ching

AU - Liu, Chiu Shong

AU - Chen, Jen De

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N2 - Background The aggregation of mental disorders in couples, as reported by prior research, indicates the effect of familial environments and warrants attention. However, the concordant categories of mental disorders in couples remain unclear. This study investigated spousal concordance for the category of mental disorders among couples throughout Taiwan by using factors associated with such disorders. Methods 5643 couples in the 2002-2013 Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database were analysed and compared with propensity-matched 5643 non-couples. Twelve independent variables, including spouse and shared characteristics, and the category of mental disorders were analysed, mainly by using multinomial logistic regression. Results The determined prevalence rates for concordant categories of mental disorder were 0.19% for affective disorders, 6.96% for anxiety disorders, and 3.15% of other mental disorders. Multinomial logistic regression results revealed that two spouses were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with the same category of the aforementioned mental disorders (ORs=2.914, 1.776 and 1.727, respectively). Other associated factors included gender, age, occupation, comorbidity and region. The odds of concordances were significantly higher in couples than in non-couples. Conclusions A category of mental disorder in one spouse is a determinant of that in the other spouse. This study extended the emotional contagion theory to the phenomenon of parallel contagion to reflect the three concordances, suggesting a direction of family-based mental health intervention, particularly prevention for the same category of mental disorders in couples. Policymakers should strengthen the coping strategies of the caring spouse and external support system to psychiatrically vulnerable families.

AB - Background The aggregation of mental disorders in couples, as reported by prior research, indicates the effect of familial environments and warrants attention. However, the concordant categories of mental disorders in couples remain unclear. This study investigated spousal concordance for the category of mental disorders among couples throughout Taiwan by using factors associated with such disorders. Methods 5643 couples in the 2002-2013 Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database were analysed and compared with propensity-matched 5643 non-couples. Twelve independent variables, including spouse and shared characteristics, and the category of mental disorders were analysed, mainly by using multinomial logistic regression. Results The determined prevalence rates for concordant categories of mental disorder were 0.19% for affective disorders, 6.96% for anxiety disorders, and 3.15% of other mental disorders. Multinomial logistic regression results revealed that two spouses were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with the same category of the aforementioned mental disorders (ORs=2.914, 1.776 and 1.727, respectively). Other associated factors included gender, age, occupation, comorbidity and region. The odds of concordances were significantly higher in couples than in non-couples. Conclusions A category of mental disorder in one spouse is a determinant of that in the other spouse. This study extended the emotional contagion theory to the phenomenon of parallel contagion to reflect the three concordances, suggesting a direction of family-based mental health intervention, particularly prevention for the same category of mental disorders in couples. Policymakers should strengthen the coping strategies of the caring spouse and external support system to psychiatrically vulnerable families.

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SN - 0143-005X

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