BACKGROUND

Awareness of mental health and wellbeing has steadily increased in recent years. Estimates of the extent and the adverse impacts of mental health problems underline the urgent need for more research to understand the causes and the consequences of mental ill health and to identify the most effective interventions. Existing longitudinal and cohort studies provide unique opportunities to answer key questions related to population mental health and wellbeing.

The Catalogue of Mental Health Measures is designed to provide easy access to information about the mental health measures included in British cohort and longitudinal studies to maximise the uptake of existing data and facilitate mental health research.

By providing details of the measures and studies, the catalogue serves as a resource for researchers

  • Identifying datasets that include mental health and wellbeing measures
  • Planning harmonisation studies
  • Planning further data collection.

The resource is also intended for researchers who may be less familiar with mental health or from other disciplines – demographers, economists, urbanist, linguists and others. To support these researchers, the catalogue also provides information about additional training and support for conducting longitudinal mental health research

What the catalogue does and does not do

The catalogue does:

  • Provide a search engine for finding mental health and wellbeing measures collected in existing UK longitudinal studies
  • Present detailed information about mental health and wellbeing measures, including items, response scales, informants and reporting period
  • Highlight statistical properties of standard measures of mental health and wellbeing 
  • Cover longitudinal and cohort studies, as well as repeated cross-sectional studies
  • Focus on UK studies and cohorts (for now!) 
  • Point to data access policies for each study
  • Signpost resources to support users in conducting longitudinal mental health research, including statistical courses and online training
  • Connect users to a panel of experts in conducting mental health research (coming soon!)

The catalogue does not:

  • Provide access to data
  • Include appraisal of measures’ suitability for particular projects
  • Include information on factors related to mental health, such as:
    • Cognition, neurocognitive disorders, learning difficulties or learning disabilities
    • Personality and temperament
    • Risk factors for mental health problems
  • Cover trials or experimental research
  • Provide research training 
  • An answer to everything!
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