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Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;197(5):411-2. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.079244.

Common mental disorders, subthreshold symptoms and disability: longitudinal study.

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MRCPsych,AcademicUnitofPsychiatry, University of Bristol, Cotham House, Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JL, UK.


In a representative sample of the UK population we found that common mental disorders (as a group and in ICD-10 diagnostic categories) and subthreshold psychiatric symptoms at baseline were both independently associated with new-onset functional disability and significant days lost from work at 18-month follow-up. Subthreshold symptoms contributed to almost half the aggregate burden of functional disability and over 32 million days lost from work in the year preceding the study. Leaving these symptoms unaccounted for in surveys may lead to gross underestimation of disability related to psychiatric morbidity.

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