Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-747cfc64b6-65n5b Total loading time: 0.399 Render date: 2021-06-15T11:08:46.365Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

How common are common mental disorders? Evidence that lifetime prevalence rates are doubled by prospective versus retrospective ascertainment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2009

T. E. Moffitt
Affiliation:
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
A. Caspi
Affiliation:
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
A. Taylor
Affiliation:
UK Office of National Statistics, London, UK
J. Kokaua
Affiliation:
New Zealand Ministry of Health, New Zealand
B. J. Milne
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
G. Polanczyk
Affiliation:
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
R. Poulton
Affiliation:
Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit, University of Otago, New Zealand
Corresponding

Abstract

Background

Most information about the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders comes from retrospective surveys, but how much these surveys have undercounted due to recall failure is unknown. We compared results from a prospective study with those from retrospective studies.

Method

The representative 1972–1973 Dunedin New Zealand birth cohort (n=1037) was followed to age 32 years with 96% retention, and compared to the national New Zealand Mental Health Survey (NZMHS) and two US National Comorbidity Surveys (NCS and NCS-R). Measures were research diagnoses of anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence and cannabis dependence from ages 18 to 32 years.

Results

The prevalence of lifetime disorder to age 32 was approximately doubled in prospective as compared to retrospective data for all four disorder types. Moreover, across disorders, prospective measurement yielded a mean past-year-to-lifetime ratio of 38% whereas retrospective measurement yielded higher mean past-year-to-lifetime ratios of 57% (NZMHS, NCS-R) and 65% (NCS).

Conclusions

Prospective longitudinal studies complement retrospective surveys by providing unique information about lifetime prevalence. The experience of at least one episode of DSM-defined disorder during a lifetime may be far more common in the population than previously thought. Research should ask what this means for etiological theory, construct validity of the DSM approach, public perception of stigma, estimates of the burden of disease and public health policy.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Andrews, G, Anstey, K, Brodaty, H, Issakidis, C, Luscombe, G (1999). Recall of depressive episodes 25 years previously. Psychological Medicine 29, 787791.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Andrews, G, Poulton, R, Skoog, I (2005). Lifetime risk for depression: restricted to a minority or waiting for most? British Journal of Psychiatry 187, 495496.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
APA (1987). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edn, revised. American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC.Google Scholar
APA (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn. American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Boden, JM, Fergusson, DM, Horwood, LJ (2006). Illicit drug use and dependence in a New Zealand birth cohort. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 40, 156163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brugha, TS, Bebbington, PE, Jenkins, R (1999). A difference that matters: comparisons of structured and semi-structured psychiatric diagnostic interviews in the general population. Psychological Medicine 29, 10131020.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Compton, WM, Thomas, YF, Stinson, FS, Grant, BF (2007). Prevalence, correlates, disability, and comorbidity of DSM-IV drug abuse and dependence in the United States: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 566576.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Costello, EJ, Mustillo, S, Erkanli, A, Keeler, G, Angold, A (2003). Prevalence and development of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. Archives of General Psychiatry 60, 837844.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cummings, G, Finch, S (2005). Inference by eye: confidence intervals and how to read pictures of data. American Psychologist 60, 170180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Degenhardt, L, Chiu, WT, Sampson, N, Kessler, RC, Anthony, JC, Angermeyer, M, Bruffaerts, R, de Girolamo, G, Gureje, O, Huang, Y, Karam, A, Kostyuchenko, S, Lepine, JP, Mora, ME, Neumark, Y, Ormel, JH, Pinto-Meza, A, Posada-Villa, J, Stein, DJ, Takeshima, T, Wells, JE (2008). Toward a global view of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine use: findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. PLoS Medicine 5, e141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feehan, M, McGee, R, Nada Raja, S, Williams, SM (1994). DSM-III-R disorders in New Zealand 18-year-olds. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 28, 8799.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Foley, DL, Meale, MC, Kendler, KS (1998). Reliability of lifetime history of major depression: implications for heritability and comorbidity. Psychological Medicine 28, 857870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grant, BF, Compton, WM, Crowley, TJ, Hasin, DS, Helzer, JE, Li, TK, Rounsaville, BJ, Volkow, ND, Woody, GE (2007). Errors in assessing DSM-IV substance use disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 379380.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hasin, DS, Grant, BF (2004). The co-occurrence of DSM-IV alcohol abuse in DSM-IV alcohol dependence. Archives of General Psychiatry 61, 891896.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hasin, DS, Stinson, FS, Grant, BF (2007). Prevalence, correlates, disability and comorbidity of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence in the United States: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 830842.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hickie, I (2007). Is depression overdiagnosed? British Medical Journal 335, 329.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Horwitz, AV, Wakefield, JC (2007). The Loss of Sadness. Oxford University Press: New York.Google Scholar
ICPSR (2006). Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor] National Comorbidity Survey; Replication (NCS-R), 2001–2003 [Computer file]. Conducted by Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy/University of Michigan, Survey Research Center. ICPSR04438-v3. Ann Arbor, MI.Google Scholar
ICPSR (2007). Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], National Comorbidity Survey: Baseline (NCS-1), 1990–1992 [computer file]. Conducted by University of Michigan, Survey Research Center. ICPSR06693-v4. Ann Arbor, MI.Google Scholar
Insel, TR, Fenton, WS (2005). Psychiatric epidemiology, it's not just about counting anymore. Archives of General Psychiatry 62, 590592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffee, SR, Harrington, HL, Cohen, P, Moffitt, TE (2005). Cumulative prevalence of psychiatric disorder in youths. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 44, 406407.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kendler, KS, Neale, MC, Kessler, RC, Heath, AC, Eaves, LJ (1993). The lifetime history of major depression in women: reliability of diagnosis and heritability. Archives of General Psychiatry 50, 863870.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, RC, Andrade, LH, Bijl, RV, Offord, DR, Demler, OV, Stein, DJ (2002). The effects of co-morbidity on the onset and persistence of generalized anxiety disorder in ICPE surveys. Psychological Medicine 32, 12131225.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, RC, Berglund, P, Chiu, W-T, Demler, O, Heeringa, S, Hiripi, E, Jin, R, Pennell, B-E, Walters, EE, Zaslavsky, A, Zheng, H (2004). The US National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R): design and field procedures. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 13, 6992.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, RC, Berglund, P, Demler, O, Jin, R, Koretz, D, Merikangas, KR, Rush, AJ, Walters, EE, Wang, PS; National Comorbidity Survey Replication (2003 a). The epidemiology of major depressive disorder: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Journal of the American Medical Association 289, 30953105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kessler, RC, Berglund, PA, Demler, O, Jin, R, Merikangas, KR, Walters, EE (2005 a). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry 62, 593602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kessler, RC, Chiu, WT, Demler, O, Merikangas, KR, Walters, EE (2005 b). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry 62, 617627.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, RC, Gruber, M, Hettema, JM, Hwang, I, Sampson, N, Yonkers, KA (2007). Co-morbid major depression and generalized anxiety disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey follow-up. Psychological Medicine 38, 365374.Google ScholarPubMed
Kessler, RC, McGonagle, KA, Zhao, S, Nelson, CB, Hughes, M, Eshleman, S, Wittchen, HU, Kendler, KS (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Study. Archives of General Psychiatry 51, 8–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kessler, RC, Merikangas, KR (2007). Drug use disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey: have we come a long way? – Reply. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 381382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kessler, RC, Merikangas, KR, Berglund, P, Eaton, WW, Koretz, DS, Walters, EE (2003 b). Mild disorders should not be eliminated from the DSM-V. Archives of General Psychiatry 60, 11171122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim-Cohen, J, Caspi, A, Moffitt, TE, Harrington, HL, Milne, BJ, Poulton, R (2003). Prior juvenile diagnosis in adults with mental disorder: developmental follow-back of a prospective-longitudinal cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry 60, 709717.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kramer, M, von Korff, M, Kessler, L (1980). The lifetime prevalence of mental disorders: estimation, uses and limitations. Psychological Medicine 10, 429435.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kruijshaar, ME, Barendrecht, J, Vos, T, de Graaf, R, Spijker, J, Andrews, G (2005). Lifetime prevalence estimates of major depression: an indirect estimation method and a quantification of recall bias. European Journal of Epidemiology 20, 103111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewinsohn, PM, Hops, H, Roberts, RESeeley, JR, Andrews, JA (1993). Adolescent psychopathology: I. Prevalence and incidence of depression and other DSM-III-R disorders in high school students. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 102, 133144.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mechanic, D (2003). Policy challenges in improving mental health services: some lessons from the past. Psychiatric Services 53, 12271232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moffitt, TE, Caspi, A, Rutter, M, Silva, PA (2001). Sex Differences in Antisocial Behaviour: Conduct Disorder, Delinquency, and Violence in the Dunedin Longitudinal Study. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moffitt, TE, Harrington, HL, Caspi, A, Kim-Cohen, J, Goldberg, D, Gregory, AM, Poulton, R (2007). Depression and generalized anxiety disorder: cumulative and sequential comorbidity in a birth cohort followed to age 32. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 651660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murray, CJL, Lopez, AD (1997). Alternative projections of mortality and disability by cause 1990–2020: Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet 349, 14981504.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
NAMHC (1993). Health care reform for Americans with severe mental illnesses: report of the National Advisory Mental Health Council. American Journal of Psychiatry 150, 14471465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Narrow, WE, Rae, DS, Robins, LN, Regier, DA (2002). Revised prevalence of mental disorders in the United States: using a clinical significance criterion to reconcile 2 surveys' estimates. Archives of General Psychiatry 59, 115123.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Newman, DL, Moffitt, TE, Caspi, A, Magdol, L, Silva, PA, Stanton, W (1996). Psychiatric disorder in a birth cohort of young adults: prevalence, comorbidity, clinical significance, and new cases incidence from age 11 to 21. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 64, 552562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newman, SC, Bland, RC (1998). Incidence of mental disorders in Edmonton. Journal of Psychiatry Research 32, 273282.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oakley-Browne, MA, Wells, JE, Scott, KM (2006). Te Rau Hinengaro: The New Zealand Mental Health Survey. NZ Ministry of Health: Wellington (www.moh.govt.nz).Google ScholarPubMed
Parker, G (2007). Is depression overdiagnosed? British Medical Journal 335, 328.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Patten, SB (2003). Recall bias and major depression lifetime prevalence. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 38, 290296.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pincus, HA, Zarin, DA, First, M (1998). ‘Clinical significance’ and DSM-IV. Archives of General Psychiatry 55, 1145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Regier, DA (2000). Community diagnosis counts. Archives of General Psychiatry 57, 223224.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Regier, DA, Kaelber, CT, Rae, DS, Farmer, ME, Knauper, B, Kessler, RC, Norquist, GS (1998). Limitations of diagnostic criteria and assessment instruments for mental disorders: implications for research and policy. Archives of General Psychiatry 55, 109115.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Robins, LN, Cottler, L, Bucholz, KK, Compton, W (1995). Diagnostic Interview Schedule for DSM-IV. Washington University School of Medicine: St Louis, MO.Google Scholar
Robins, LN, Helzer, JE, Cottler, L, Goldring, E (1989). Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Version III-R. Washington University School of Medicine: St Louis, MO.Google Scholar
Robins, LN, Regier, DA (1991). Psychiatric Disorders in America. Free Press: New York.Google Scholar
SAS Institute (2004). SAS OnlineDoc® 9.1.3. SAS Institute Inc.: Cary, NC.Google Scholar
Simon, GE, VonKorff, M (1995). Recall of psychiatric history in cross-sectional surveys: implications for epidemiologic research. Epidemiology Review 17, 211227.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Simon, GE, VonKorff, M, Uston, TB, Gater, R, Gureje, O, Sartorius, N (1995). Is the lifetime risk of depression actually increasing? Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 48, 11091118.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
StataCorp (2005). Stata Statistical Software: Release 9.1. Stata Corporation: College Station, TX.Google Scholar
Wells, JE, Horwood, LJ (2004). How accurate is recall of key symptoms of depression? A comparison of recall and longitudinal reports. Psychological Medicine 34, 10011011.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wells, JE, Oakley Browne, MA, Scott, KM, McGee, MA, Baxter, J, Kokaua, J (2006). Te Rau Hinengaro: the New Zealand Mental Health Survey: overview of methods and findings. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 40, 835844.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wilhelm, K, Mitchell, PB, Niven, H, Finch, A, Wedgwood, L, Scimone, A, Blair, IP, Parker, G, Schofield, PR (2006). Life events, first depression onset and the serotonin transporter gene. British Journal of Psychiatry 188, 210215.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Supplementary material: File

Moffitt supplementary material

Appendix.doc

Download Moffitt supplementary material(File)
File 31 KB
430
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

How common are common mental disorders? Evidence that lifetime prevalence rates are doubled by prospective versus retrospective ascertainment
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

How common are common mental disorders? Evidence that lifetime prevalence rates are doubled by prospective versus retrospective ascertainment
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

How common are common mental disorders? Evidence that lifetime prevalence rates are doubled by prospective versus retrospective ascertainment
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *