Skip to main content

The Australian National Survey of Psychotic Disorders: profile of psychosocial disability and its risk factors

  • O. GUREJE (a1), H. HERRMAN (a1), C. HARVEY (a1), V. MORGAN (a1) and A. JABLENSKY (a1)...

Background. Knowledge of the level of psychosocial impairment associated with psychosis is important in evaluating the impact of the illness on those affected. When such knowledge is derived from community-based epidemiological surveys, it can help in providing a public health perspective for service planning with information derived from representative samples of patients.

Methods. A two-phase epidemiological survey of persons with psychosis in four predominantly urban areas of Australia. First phase screening for psychosis (N = 5710) was followed by a semi-structured interview of a stratified random sample (N = 980) to assess psychopathology (lifetime and current) and psychosocial disability.

Results. Most of the interviewees were unemployed and had never married. There was widespread impairment in sexual and social relationships and in the performance of activities of daily living. Over half expressed dissatisfaction with life in general. Persons with affective psychoses were often as disabled as those with schizophrenia and diagnostic categorizations were not important in the conferment of risk for disability. Rather, poor pre-morbid work or social adjustment and poor course of illness were potent risk factors for diverse forms of disability in persons with psychosis.

Conclusion. A large proportion of persons with experience of psychosis living in the community suffers from significant levels of psychosocial disability. Disablement seems to reflect, in part, a diathesis of poor pre-morbid functioning and less than optimal response to treatment of the disorder.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Carol Harvey, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne & North Western Mental Health, 126–130 Bell Street, Coburg, VIC 3058, Australia.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 49 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 290 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.