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CiteWeb id: 19940000014

CiteWeb score: 13975

DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950010008002

Background: This study presents estimates of lifetime and 12-monthprevalence of 14 DSM-III-Rpsychiatricdisorders from the National Comorbidity Survey, the first survey to administer a structured psychiatric interview to a national probability sample in the United States. Methods: TheDSM-111-R psychiatric disorders amongpersons aged 15 to 54years in the noninstitutionalized civilianpopulation of the UnitedStates were assessedwithdata collected by lay interviewersusing a revisedversionof the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Results: Nearly 50% of respondents reportedat least one lifetime disorder, and close to 30% reported at least one 12-month disorder. The most common disorders werernajor depressive episode, alcohol dependence, social phobia, and simple phobia. More than half of all lifetime disorders occurred in the 14% of the population who had a history of three or more comorbid disorders. These highly comorbid people also included thevast majority of people with severe disorders. Less than 40% of those with a lifetime disorder had ever received professional treatment, andless than 20% of those with a recent disorder had been in treatment during the past 12 months. Consistent with previous risk factor research, itwas found that women had elevatedrates of affective disorders and anxiety disorders, that men hadelevatedrates of substance use disorders and antisocial personality disorder, and that most disorders declinedwith age and with higher socioeconomic status. Conclusions: The prevalence of psychiatric disorders is greater than previously thought to be the case. Furthermore, this morbidity is more highly concentrated than previously recognizedin roughly one sixth of the population who have a history of three or more comorbid disorders. This suggests that the causes and consequences of high comorbidity shouldbe the focus ofresearchattention. The majority of people with psychiatric disorders fail to obtain professional treatment. Even among people with a lifetime history of three or more comorbiddisorders, theproportionwho ever obtainspecialty sector mental health treatment is less than 50%. Theseresultsargue for the importance of more outreach and more research on barriers to professional help-seeking. (Arch Gen Psych. 1994;51:8-19)

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