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Psychol Med. 2006 Feb;36(2):257-67. Epub 2005 Dec 7.

Twelve-month prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in metropolitan China.

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  • 1Peking University Institute of Mental Health.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Psychiatric epidemiological surveys in China have repeatedly found much lower prevalence estimates than in most other parts of the world.

METHOD:

Face-to-face household interviews of 5201 subjects (2633 in Beijing and 2568 in Shanghai respectively) were conducted from November 2001 to February 2002 using a multistage household probability sampling method. A Chinese version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was used for assessment.

RESULTS:

Twelve-month prevalence of any DSM-IV mental disorder in metropolitan China is estimated to be 7.0%, with major depressive disorder (2.0%), specific phobia (1.9%), and intermittent explosive disorder (1.7%) the most common disorders. Of these, 13.9% are classified as serious, 32.6% moderate, and 53.5% mild. Only 3.4% of respondents with any disorder sought treatment within the previous 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the general pattern of disorders, risk factors, and unmet need for treatment are similar to those in other countries, a low prevalence of mental disorders is found in metropolitan China. Resolving methodological problems that cause downward bias in estimates, such as stigma-related under-reporting and diagnostic incongruity with a somatopsychic mode of symptom presentation may lead to more accurate and probably higher prevalence estimates in future epidemiological studies. As a low prevalence still translates into an enormous number of people in China, measures are urgently needed to address the huge unmet need for treatment of mental disorders.

PMID:
16332281
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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