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Rev Med Liege. 2005 Nov;60(11):849-54.

[The impact of mental disorders on daily functioning in the Belgian community. Results of the study "European Study on Epidemiology of Mental Disorders" (ESemeD)].

[Article in French]

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Service de Psychiatrie, UZ Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven.



This study reports the impact of mental disorders on daily functioning in the Belgian population.


A representative sample of 2419 non-institutionalised Belgian adults (18+) was interviewed between 2001 and 2002 using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview of the World Mental Health Surveys of the World Health Organisation (WMH-CIDI). Common mental disorders (mood, anxiety, and alcohol disorders--according to DSM-IV) and functional disabilities (according to the World Health Organization Disablement Assessment Scale--WHO-DAS-2) were assessed.


Mood and anxiety disorders were associated with substantial levels of disability: social, emotional and physical domains were affected. Mood disorders were found to exert the largest impact in different domains of daily functioning, although the social life was most affected. Anxiety disorders were, on the contrary, more associated with emotional and physical discomfort. Persons with a alcohol disorder reported a substantially low impact on their daily functioning.


Mental disorders affect several domains of daily functioning, with considerable limitations in personal and social life, but also with dramatic cutbacks in work productivity.

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