Home > Gender differences in psychotropic use across Europe: results from a large cross-sectional, population-based study.

Boyd, A and Van de Velde, Sarah and Pivette, M and Ten Have, M and Florescu, S and O'Neill, S and Caldas-de-Almeida, José Miguel and Vilagut, G and Haro, J M and Alonso, J and Kovess-Masfety, Viviane (2015) Gender differences in psychotropic use across Europe: results from a large cross-sectional, population-based study. European Psychiatry , 30 , (6) , pp. 778-788.

BACKGROUND
In many epidemiological studies, women have been observed to consume psychotropic medication more often than men. However, the consistency of this relationship across Europe, with differences in mental health care (MHC) resources and reimbursement policies, is unknown.

METHODS
Questions on 12-month psychotropic use (antidepressants, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers) were asked to 34,204 respondents from 10 European countries of the EU-World Mental Health surveys. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria were used to determine 12-month prevalence of mood/anxiety disorders using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (v3.0).

RESULTS
For all participating countries, women were significantly more likely than men to use psychotropic medication within the previous 12 months (overall-OR=2.04, 95% CI: 1.81-2.31). This relationship remained significant after adjusting for common sociodemographic factors (age, income level, employment status, education, marital status) and country-level indicators (MHC provision, private household out-of-pocket expenditure, and Gender Gap Index). In multivariable gender-stratified risk-factor analysis, both women and men were more likely to have taken psychotropic medication with increasing age, decreasing income level, and mental health care use within the past 12 months, with no significant differences between genders. When only including participants with a mental disorder, gender differences overall were still significant with any 12-month mood disorder but not with any 12-month anxiety disorder, remaining so after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and country-level indicators.

CONCLUSIONS
Women use psychotropic medication consistently more often than men, yet reasons for their use are similar between genders. These differences also appear to be contingent on the specific mental disorder.


Item Type:Article
Date:4 June 2015
Page Range:pp. 778-788
Publisher:Elsevier
Volume:30
Number:6
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Sedatives or tranquillisers (CNS depressants)
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Over the counter drug (medicine / medication)
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Prescription drug (medicine / medication)
T Demographic characteristics > Woman (women / female)
T Demographic characteristics > Man (men / male)
T Demographic characteristics > Gender differences
VA Geographic area > Europe
VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland

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