Probable depression and suicidal ideation in Hong Kong amid massive civil unrest

Wai Kai HOU, Brian J. HALL, Li LIANG, Tsz Wai LI, Huinan LIU, Sandro GALEA

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study examined prevalence and correlates of probable depression and suicidal ideation among Hong Kong Chinese residents amidst the anti-extradition bill protests.
Methods: Random digit dialing recruited a population-representative sample of Hong Kong residents aged 15 years or older during the first three weeks of July, 2019. Respondents reported current depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, participation in protest activities, attitudes and perceived stress, disruptions to daily routines, and demographics.
Results: Among 1112 respondents, 25.7% reported probable depression, and 9.1% reported suicidal ideation. Multivariable logistic regression showed that persons with higher odds of probable depression had primary education and high disruptions to regular routines of eating, sleep, socializing, and leisure activities. Persons who were at higher odds of suicidal ideation had lower household income, used social media to engage in the protests, and had medium or high disruptions to regular eating and sleep.
Conclusions: During the anti-extradition bill protests, the prevalence of probable depression and suicidal ideation were substantially higher than would be expected and higher than during the Umbrella Movement of 2014. Psychiatric morbidity may be a consequence of massive social movements, particularly among persons with limited protective resources whose daily life is disrupted by these events. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Early online date17 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


Hou, W. K., Hall, B. J., Liang, L., Li, T. W., Liu, H., & Galea, S. (2021). Probable depression and suicidal ideation in Hong Kong amid massive civil unrest. Annals of Epidemiology, 54, 45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.09.006


  • Mental health
  • Probable depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Political activism
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Adaptation
  • Psychological


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