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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1989 Sep;23(3):315-26.

Christchurch Psychiatric Epidemiology Study, Part I: Methodology and lifetime prevalence for specific psychiatric disorders.

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  • 1University Department of Community Health, Christchurch School of Medicine, Sunnyside Hospital, New Zealand.


In 1986 the Christchurch Psychiatric Epidemiology Study obtained interviews with a probability sample of 1498 adults aged 18 to 64 years. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) was used to enable DSM-III diagnoses to be made. This paper describes the methodology of the study and reports the lifetime prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders. The highest lifetime prevalences found were for generalised anxiety (31%), alcohol abuse/dependence (19%) and major depressive episode (13%). Men had higher rates of substance abuse whereas women had higher rates of affective disorders and most anxiety disorders. Compared with results from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program, Puerto Rico and Edmonton, Christchurch has the highest rates for major depression and is among the highest for alcohol abuse/dependence.

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