Vol 7-1 Research Article

Longitudinal trajectories of region-level suicide mortality in Tokyo, Japan, 2011 to 2021

Background: Suicide mortality in Japan has declined over a period of more than 10 years, however, differences in longitudinal trajectories at a regional level are not well characterized. Objective was to clarify the longitudinal suicide mortality trajectories at the regional level in Tokyo from 2011 to 2021 by considering spatial smoothing, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This longitudinal cross-sectional analysis used fifty-four regions in Tokyo, Japan. Suicide mortality trends used data from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government from 2011 to 2021. Regional social and environmental characteristics were used as 10 covariates. Empirical Bayes estimates for the standardized mortality ratio were obtained. A conditional autoregressive (CAR) model was applied to capture the spatial correlation for a crude and adjusted with 10 covariates using OpenBUGS. Spatial clusters were also identified by FlexScan, SaTScan, and Tango’s test.

Results: Longitudinal trajectories for both males and females were similar to a decreasing trend in all Japan until 2019. In 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the age-specific suicide deaths were the highest among those in their 20s. However, those were the highest among males in their 50s in 2021. The results of the CAR models adjusted for 10 covariates detected several regions as having higher suicide rates, but those regions were somewhat varied.

Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, both sexes in their 20s and males in their 50s showed a tendency toward an increase in suicides. The detected regions by spatial epidemiology varied with sex.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1262 View / Download Pdf
Vol 7-1 Mini Review Article

Racial disparities in opioid use disorder and its treatment: A review and commentary on the literature

Despite public interventions, the rate of opioid use disorder (OUD) continues to rise. In this focused review of the existing literature, the authors describe how increases in OUD, as well as opioid-related deaths, have occurred disproportionately among people of color. Black patients in particular are dying of overdose at an increased rate, however are less likely to receive any treatment for OUD. Additionally, Black patients are less likely to receive buprenorphine than White patients, but more likely to receive methadone. Potential causes of these disparities are discussed, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the successes of several pilot programs.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1263 View / Download Pdf
Vol 7-1 Review Article

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of the Western Populace: A Model for the Examination of the Virus’s Global Impacts on Mental Health

COVID-19 has had lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of the global community. These impacts are multifaceted and spring from a range of physiological, psychological, economic origins. This review sought to demonstrate evidence of the damaging consequences that COVID-19 and its related effects have had on mental health. The findings showed significant increases in numbers of individuals seeking mental health care, experiencing negative mental health symptoms, and opting for medication management of mental health symptoms. In this review, we explore logistical aspects of both present and prospective zoonotic disease spillover events, as this information is key to mitigating future pandemic events. Furthermore, we summarize current knowledge of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health of the populations of Western countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Moreover, we discuss the influence of racial disparities in delivery of healthcare in the United States and their effects on the quality of, access to, and awareness of mental health care. Our awareness of these issues has the potential to inform further research, aid, and funding to the populations where it is most needed. Finally, we make recommendations for the direction of further research based on the findings of this article.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1265 View / Download Pdf
Vol 7-1 Systematic Review

Does Mental Health impact the outcomes of Total Ankle Arthroplasty? A Systematic Review

Studies have demonstrated that depression, anxiety, negative mood, and pain catastrophizing influence outcomes following total hip, knee, and shoulder arthroplasty thus providing evidence-based counseling on expected postoperative outcomes. The purpose of this review is to establish the prevalence of mental health conditions, impact of mental health conditions on patient-reported outcome measures, and the impact on length of stay and discharge disposition in patients undergoing total ankle arthroplasty (TAA). An online search utilizing the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, Google Scholar, and CINAHL databases was performed to identify relevant articles published between 2010 and 2022. Seven studies were included in the systematic review. Depression was the most common mental health comorbidity with a pooled prevalence of 12.9%. Mental health comorbidities were associated with inferior patient reported outcomes measures. Additionally, depression was a pre-operative predictive factor in poor outcomes when utilizing the PROMIS score. The presence of a mental health comorbidity demonstrated an increased risk of nonhome discharge, length of stay, complication rate, infection, and narcotic use. Psychiatric comorbidities, particularly depression, were predictors of negative postoperative outcomes. This review reinforces the significant impact of mental health disorders and psychiatric comorbidities on clinical outcomes following TAA.

Level of Evidence: Level III

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1267 View / Download Pdf