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An epidemiological survey of psychiatric disorders in Iran.

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Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Psychology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Roozbeh Hospital, South Kargar AV., 13185/1741, Tehran, Iran.



The nation-wide epidemiological survey of psychiatric disorders in term of lifetime prevalence is not adequately known in Iran. The prevalence of lifetime psychiatric disorders was estimated among the population of aged 18 and over on gender, age group, educational level, occupational status, marital status, and residential area.


The subjects were 25,180 individuals selected through a clustered random sampling method. The psychiatric disorders were diagnosed on the bases of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria. It is the first study in which the structured psychiatric interview administered to a representative sample of the Iranian population age 18 and over by the 250 trained clinical psychologist interviewers. The data was entered through EPI-Info software twice in an attempt to prevent any errors and SPSS-11 statistical software was also used for analyses. The odds ratios and their confidence intervals estimated by using logistic regression.


The prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 10.81%. It was more common among females than males (14.34% vs. 7.34%, P < 0.001). The prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders were 8.35% and 4.29% respectively. The prevalence of psychotic disorders was 0.89%; neuro-cognitive disorders, 2.78% and dissociative disorders, 0.77%. Among mood disorders, major depressive disorder (2.98%) and among anxiety disorders, phobic disorder (2.05%) had the higher prevalence. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among divorced and separated 22.31%; residents of urban areas 11.77%; illiterates 13.80%; householders 15.48%; unemployed 12.33% that were more than other groups.


The mental health pattern in Iran is similar to the western countries, but it seems that the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Iran may be lower than these countries. It is estimated that at least about 7 millions of Iranian population suffer from one or more of the psychiatric disorders. It shows the importance of the role of the psychiatric disorders in providing preventive and management programs in Iran.

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