U.S. Pharmacist

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Acute Negative Feelings Among Adults

Somnath Pal, BS (Pharm), MBA, PhD
Professor of Pharmacy Administration
College of Pharmacy & Allied Health Professions
St. John's University
Jamaica, New York



11/19/2009

US Pharm. 2009;34(11):10. 

The 2007 National Health Interview Survey for noninstitutionalized adults provides an understanding of the prevalence of acute feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or nervousness or that everything is an effort.

Sadness, Hopelessness, Worthlessness, or Everything Feeling Like an Effort: Ten percent of respondents experienced sadness; 6% felt hopeless; 5% felt worthless; and 13% felt that everything was an effort. Twelve percent of women felt sad, compared with 8% of men. More non-Hispanic black respondents than non-Hispanic white respondents felt that everything is an effort. The highest percentage of respondents with these feelings had less than a high-school diploma, and respondents least likely to have these feelings had at least a bachelor's degree. Adults in poor families were twice as likely as adults in families that were better off to feel sad, hopeless, worthless, or that everything is an effort.

Among respondents under age 65 years, 25% of those with Medicaid coverage experienced feelings of sadness, compared with 15% of those who were uninsured and 6% of those who had private health insurance. Among individuals aged 65 years and over, 19% of those with Medicaid and Medicare coverage experienced feelings of sadness, compared with 11% of those with only Medicare coverage and 8% of those with private health insurance. Divorced respondents were more likely than other respondents to feel sad or that everything is an effort. 

Feelings of Nervousness or Restlessness: Thirteen percent of respondents experienced nervousness, and 15% reported restlessness. Sixteen percent of women felt nervous, versus 11% of men. Non-Hispanic white respondents had more feelings of nervousness than non-Hispanic black respondents. The highest percentage of adults with these feelings had less than a high-school diploma; those least likely to have these feelings possessed a bachelor's degree or higher. Adults in poor families were more likely to feel nervous than adults in families that were better off.

Among individuals under age 65 years, 26% of those with Medicaid coverage experienced feelings of nervousness, compared with 15% of those who were uninsured and 12% of those who had private health insurance. Among adults aged 65 years and over, 25% of those with Medicaid and Medicare coverage experienced feelings of nervousness, versus 11% of those who had only Medicare coverage and 11% of those with private health insurance. Adults who were married were least likely to have feelings of nervousness or restlessness, compared with adults who were divorced or separated, never married, or living with a partner. 

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U.S. Pharmacist is a monthly journal dedicated to providing the nation's pharmacists with up-to-date, authoritative, peer-reviewed clinical articles relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice in a variety of settings, including community pharmacy, hospitals, managed care systems, ambulatory care clinics, home care organizations, long-term care facilities, industry and academia. The publication is also useful to pharmacy technicians, students, other health professionals and individuals interested in health management. Pharmacists licensed in the U.S. can earn Continuing Education credits through Postgraduate Healthcare Education, LLC, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

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