Association of participation in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 with mental disorders and suicidal behaviour
Kerkelä, Martta; Gissler, Mika; Veijola, Juha (2022-01-03)
Kerkelä, M., Gissler, M., & Veijola, J. (2022). Association between participation to the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 and mental disorders and suicidal behaviour. Epidemiology and Health, e2022005. https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022005
©2022, Korean Society of Epidemiology. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: In prospective follow-up studies, participants are normally contacted during the follow-up period. Even though the idea is not to intervene, the studies conducted during follow-up may affect the target population. Our hypotheses were that participation in the prospective Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 study (NFBC 1986) increased the use of mental health services and reduced suicidal behaviour due to participation in follow-up studies.
Methods: The NFBC 1986 study covered people with an expected date of birth between July 1985 and June 1986 in northern Finland (n=9,396). The participants of the NFBC 1986 were followed since the antenatal period with follow-ups including clinical examinations. The comparison cohort comprised people born in the same area in 1987 (n=8,959), who were not contacted. Registry data on psychiatric treatment, suicide attempts, and suicides were available. Crude risk ratios (RRs) and adjusted (for marital status and education) Mantel-Haenszel RRs were reported.
Results: No increase in mental disorders were found in NFBC 1986 compared to comparison cohort. In the crude RR analysis of female participants, a lower risk for suicide attempts was found (RR, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.92; p=0.011).
Conclusions: The results did not support our first hypothesis regarding the increased use of mental health services in the NFBC 1986 cohort. However, our second hypothesis gained some support as female participants of the NFBC 1986 had a lower risk of suicide attempts, although it was not due to a higher number of participants receiving psychiatric treatment.
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