Psychological morbidity in the farming community: a literature review

Chiswell, Hannah Marie ORCID: 0000-0003-4504-1319 (2023) Psychological morbidity in the farming community: a literature review. Journal of Agromedicine, 28 (2). pp. 151-176. doi:10.1080/1059924X.2022.2089419

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The mental health of the farming community across industrialised nations has long been a major concern. Using an adapted procedure for a systematic literature review of observational epidemiological studies reporting prevalence (informed by the Joanna Briggs Institute method), this paper reviews peer-reviewed literature that explicitly compares farmer and non-farmer mental health (n=48). In doing so, it provides a central and accessible evidence base for researchers and practitioners, and simultaneously reveals a stark lack of consensus; specifically, 54.0 per cent of measures deployed to assess farmer mental health determined it to be the same as or even better than non-farming populations. This ambiguity sits in sharp contrast to the unequivocally worrisome farmer suicide statistics. Informed by the literature, the paper discusses potential reasons for this mismatch, including (i) farmers' progression through a different 'pathway' to suicide that is not always preceded by mental illness, and (ii) a failure of current methods to accurately gauge the mental health status of farmers. The paper concludes by recommending more research into farmers' 'pathway' to suicide, and highlights the need for a dedicated and multi-disciplinary programme of methods research that will afford a more culturally appropriate and effective means of understanding mental health in the farming community.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Farmers; Psychological morbidity; Suicide; Mental health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA790 Mental health. Mental illness prevention.
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 11:37
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2023 04:15

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