Skip to main content

The early burden of disability in individuals with mood and other common mental disorders in Ontario, Canada

Frey BN, Vigod S, de Azevedo Cardoso T, Librenza-Garcia D, Favotto L, Perez R, Kapczinski F. JAMA Netw Open. 2020; 3(10):e2020213. Epub 2020 Oct 26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.20213


Importance — Large population-based data on the trajectory to disability after the first diagnosis of a mood disorder are lacking.

Objective — To assess the time between an incident mood disorder diagnosis and the receipt of disability services during a follow-up period of as long as 20 years.

Design, Setting, and Participants — This cohort study used health administrative and social service data from ICES for 1 902 792 adults aged 18 to 59 years living in Ontario, Canada. A narrow cohort of individuals who had a new diagnosis of a mood disorder between October 1, 1997, and March 31, 2007, matched by sex and age to individuals with no history of mood disorder, included 278 296 participants. A broader cohort of individuals who had a new diagnosis of other common mental disorders during the same period, matched by sex and age to individuals with no history of mental disorder diagnosis, included 1 624 496 individuals. All individuals were followed up to a maximum end date of March 31, 2017. Data analysis was conducted from November 2017 to June 2018.

Exposure — Incident diagnosis of mood or common mental disorder.

Main Outcomes and Measures — Disability outcomes were as follows: (1) entry into the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), signifying long-term inability to work because of a disability, and (2) admission into a long-term care (LTC) residence, signifying the inability to live in independent housing. Cox proportional hazards models were used.

Results — In the full cohort of 1 902 792 individuals, 278 296 participants (14.6%) were included in the mood disorder cohort (mean [SD] age, 37.5 [11.9] years; 157 386 [56.6%] women), and 1 624 496 participants (85.4%) were included in the common mental disorder cohort (mean [SD], 36.5 [11.8] years; 932 545 [57.4%] women). The incidence of ODSP initiation was greater among individuals with mood disorders than those without (51.5 per 10 000 person-years vs 25.5 per 10 000 person-years; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.03; 95% CI, 1.95-2.11) and for those with common mental disorders (45.0 per 10 000 person-years vs 27.6 per 10 000 person-years; aHR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.55-1.60). The aHR for admission to LTC was also higher among individuals with mood disorders compared with those without (aHR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.80-2.69) and those with common mental disorders compared with those without (aHR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.14-1.29). Individuals with bipolar disorders had greater ODSP rates than individuals with major depressive disorders (crude rate ratio: 4.31 [95% CI, 3.56-5.17] vs 1.82 [95% CI, 1.36-2.43]).

Conclusions and Relevance — This cohort study found that mood disorders were associated with elevated and early rates of disability services. Effective early intervention strategies targeting functional impairment in this population are encouraged.

View full text

×