PREDICTORS OF WELL-BEING FOR RESIDENTS OF AN EPIDEMIOLOGIC CATCHMENT AREA IN MONTREAL, CANADA | 55715
Epidemiology: Open Access
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The aim of this study is to identify predictors of well-being, a positive indicator of mental health. We used data from the
Montreal Epidemiological Catchment Area Study, a longitudinal study that focuses on the mental health and well-being
of residents in the southwest region of Montreal. The study recruited a randomly selected sample of 2,433 individuals aged
15-65 at baseline of them, 1,303 were re-interviewed four years later. Well-being was measured with Personal Well-being Index
(Cummins, 2003). Direct interviews gathered self-reported data on: socio-demographics, life events, stress and coping abilities,
social support, perceptions of neighbourhoods, working status and income, mental disorders, psychiatric family history and
mental health services utilization. Social and built features of environment were determined using Geographic Information
System. We employed hierarchical linear regression to identify significant independent predictors of well-being improvement
overtime, among the aforementioned baseline variables. We first used forward selection procedure to identify significant variable
blocks – groups of variables that had significant overall effects on well-being. We then used backward deletion procedure to
eliminate non-significant individual variables. The final model explained 41% of the variance of well-being. Variables from
eight blocks were found to be significant predictors of well-being, including socio-demographics, income, stress and coping,
social support, mental health status, satisfaction with precise life domains, satisfaction with the physical state, density of the
vegetation in the neighbourhood, and average property values in the neighbourhood. Better understanding predictors of wellbeing
will enable the development of more effective mental health promotion programs.
Caron is associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University and researcher at the Research center of the Douglas Mental Health university Institute. He currently leads the team of Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) in Social and Psychiatric Epidemiology. He is also associate researcher at the Institute of Public Health of the University of Montreal and at the Instituto de Saude Colletiva of the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.