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Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2019 Sep;28(3):e1796. doi: 10.1002/mpr.1796. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Indicators of mental disorders in UK Biobank-A comparison of approaches.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
2
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
3
Mental Health and Wellbeing, The Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
4
Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
5
Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.
6
Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Psychological Medicine, Exeter, UKUK Biobank, Office of the UKB Chief Scientist, Edinburgh, UK.
7
Office of the UKB Chief Scientist, UK Biobank, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

For many research cohorts, it is not practical to provide a "gold-standard" mental health diagnosis. It is therefore important for mental health research that potential alternative measures for ascertaining mental disorder status are understood.

METHODS:

Data from UK Biobank in those participants who had completed the online Mental Health Questionnaire (n = 157,363) were used to compare the classification of mental disorder by four methods: symptom-based outcome (self-complete based on diagnostic interviews), self-reported diagnosis, hospital data linkage, and self-report medication.

RESULTS:

Participants self-reporting any psychiatric diagnosis had elevated risk of any symptom-based outcome. Cohen's κ between self-reported diagnosis and symptom-based outcome was 0.46 for depression, 0.28 for bipolar affective disorder, and 0.24 for anxiety. There were small numbers of participants uniquely identified by hospital data linkage and medication.

CONCLUSION:

Our results confirm that ascertainment of mental disorder diagnosis in large cohorts such as UK Biobank is complex. There may not be one method of classification that is right for all circumstances, but an informed and transparent use of outcome measure(s) to suit each research question will maximise the potential of UK Biobank and other resources for mental health research.

KEYWORDS:

UK Biobank; cohort study; diagnosis; epidemiology; mental disorder; online survey

PMID:
31397039
DOI:
10.1002/mpr.1796

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