Professional News
New Data Describe Prevalence Of Psychiatric Disorders
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 24 page 11-11

What is the worldwide prevalence of various mental disorders? Elliot Goldner, M.D., head of the Mental Health Evaluation and Community Consultation Unit at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and his colleagues have come up with some best estimates based on what they believe are rigorous criteria.

They reported some of their findings at the annual meeting of the Canadian Psychiatric Association in Banff, Alberta, in November.

Although their estimates are lower than those often quoted by scientific publications and the popular press, they still reveal that psychiatric disorders are quite prevalent throughout the world.

Goldner and his coworkers systematically reviewed English-language studies on the subject published between 1980 and 2000. They excluded what they considered all but the high-quality ones, for example, those that used community survey methods to examine the general population, had sample sizes of 500 people or more, and were based on DSM-III,ICD-9, or more recent criteria. They then used statistical methods to combine the results and come up with best estimates of the prevalence of various mental disorders in adults throughout the world.

Some of the findings by Goldner and his team are currently in press with the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Additional findings will be published in a special series in that journal. ▪

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