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Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2012 Jun;21(2):161-6. doi: 10.1017/S2045796012000042.

Psychiatric epidemiology now: some achievements and prospects.

Author information

1
The Australian National University, Canberra Hospital, Garran, A.C.T 2605, Australia. ashenderson@netspace.net.au

Abstract

AIMS:

It is timely to ask what epidemiology has brought to our knowledge about mental illness and what information is proving of particular value. In this task, the first step is to identify the truly fundamental questions that the epidemiology of mental disorders should be expected to answer. This review is selectively directed at four such questions.

METHODS:

A small number of significant publications were identified.

RESULTS:

The extent to which some major questions in epidemiology have been answered is examined.

CONCLUSIONS:

When considered alongside epidemiological knowledge elsewhere in medicine, psychiatric epidemiology has indisputably proved to be a powerful tool. Descriptive studies have been particularly useful for advocacy and policy, while analytic studies of aetiology have yielded some valuable clues. There are now signs that linkage with neuroscience will bring further progress in understanding the causes of mental disorders.

PMID:
22789164
DOI:
10.1017/S2045796012000042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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