Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Psychol Med. 2009 Jul;39(7):1163-76. doi: 10.1017/S0033291708004807. Epub 2008 Dec 18.

Implications of modifying the duration requirement of generalized anxiety disorder in developed and developing countries.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, PRC. singlee@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A number of western studies have suggested that the 6-month duration requirement of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) does not represent a critical threshold in terms of onset, course, or risk factors of the disorder. No study has examined the consequences of modifying the duration requirement across a wide range of correlates in both developed and developing countries.

METHOD:

Population surveys were carried out in seven developing and 10 developed countries using the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (total sample=85,052). Prevalence and correlates of GAD were compared across mutually exclusive GAD subgroups defined by different minimum duration criteria.

RESULTS:

Lifetime prevalence estimates for GAD lasting 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months were 7.5%, 5.2%, 4.1% and 3.0% for developed countries and 2.7%, 1.8%, 1.5% and 1.2% for developing countries, respectively. There was little difference between GAD of 6 months' duration and GAD of shorter durations (1-2 months, 3-5 months) in age of onset, symptom severity or persistence, co-morbidity or impairment. GAD lasting >or=12 months was the most severe, persistently symptomatic and impaired subgroup.

CONCLUSIONS:

In both developed and developing countries, the clinical profile of GAD is similar regardless of duration. The DSM-IV 6-month duration criterion excludes a large number of individuals who present with shorter generalized anxiety episodes which may be recurrent, impairing and contributory to treatment-seeking. Future iterations of the DSM and ICD should consider modifying the 6-month duration criterion so as to better capture the diversity of clinically salient anxiety presentations.

PMID:
19091158
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2692366
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms

Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Cambridge University Press Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk