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National or population level interventions addressing the social determinants of mental health - an umbrella review

Shah, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-2875-7836, Walker, I. F., Naik, Y. , Rajan, S., O'Hagan, K., Black, M., Cartwright, C., Tillmann, T., Pearce-Smith, N. & Stansfield, J. (2021). National or population level interventions addressing the social determinants of mental health - an umbrella review. BMC Public Health, 21, 2118. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-12145-1

Abstract

Background
Social circumstances in which people live and work impact the population’s mental health. We aimed to synthesise evidence identifying effective interventions and policies that influence the social determinants of mental health at national or scaled population level. We searched five databases (Cochrane Library, Global Health, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO) between Jan 1st 2000 and July 23rd 2019 to identify systematic reviews of population-level interventions or policies addressing a recognised social determinant of mental health and collected mental health outcomes. There were no restrictions on country, sub-population or age. A narrative overview of results is provided. Quality assessment was conducted using Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR 2). This study was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019140198).

Results
We identified 20 reviews for inclusion. Most reviews were of low or critically low quality. Primary studies were mostly observational and from higher income settings. Higher quality evidence indicates more generous welfare benefits may reduce socioeconomic inequalities in mental health outcomes. Lower quality evidence suggests unemployment insurance, warm housing interventions, neighbourhood renewal, paid parental leave, gender equality policies, community-based parenting programmes, and less restrictive migration policies are associated with improved mental health outcomes. Low quality evidence suggests restriction of access to lethal means and multi-component suicide prevention programmes are associated with reduced suicide risk.

Conclusion
This umbrella review has identified a small and overall low-quality evidence base for population level interventions addressing the social determinants of mental health. There are significant gaps in the evidence base for key policy areas, which limit ability of national policymakers to understand how to effectively improve population mental health.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Publisher Keywords: Mental health, Public health, Public mental health, Health policy, Social determinants, Intervention, Population health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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