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Disability and treatment of specific mental and physical disorders across the world

  • Johan Ormel (a1), Maria Petukhova (a2), Somnath Chatterji (a3), Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola (a4), Jordi Alonso (a5), Matthias C. Angermeyer (a6), Evelyn J. Bromet (a7), Huibert Burger (a8), Koen Demyttenaere (a9), Giovanni de Girolamo (a10), Josep Maria Haro (a11), Irving Hwang (a2), Elie Karam (a12), Norito Kawakami (a13), Jean Pierre Lépine (a14), María Elena Medina-Mora (a15), José Posada-Villa (a16), Nancy Sampson (a2), Kate Scott (a17), T. Bedirhan Üstün (a18), Michael Von Korff (a19), David R. Williams (a20), Mingyuan Zhang (a21) and Ronald C. Kessler (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Advocates of expanded mental health treatment assert that mental disorders are as disabling as physical disorders, but little evidence supports this assertion.

Aims

To establish the disability and treatment of specific mental and physical disorders in high-income and low- and middle-income countries.

Method

Community epidemiological surveys were administered in 15 countries through the World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative.

Results

Respondents in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries attributed higher disability to mental disorders than to the commonly occurring physical disorders included in the surveys. This pattern held for all disorders and also for treated disorders. Disaggregation showed that the higher disability of mental than physical disorders was limited to disability in social and personal role functioning, whereas disability in productive role functioning was generally comparable for mental and physical disorders.

Conclusions

Despite often higher disability, mental disorders are under-treated compared with physical disorders in both high-income and in low- and middle-income countries.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Ronald C. Kessler, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA. Email: kessler@hcp.med.harvard.edu
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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Disability and treatment of specific mental and physical disorders across the world

  • Johan Ormel (a1), Maria Petukhova (a2), Somnath Chatterji (a3), Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola (a4), Jordi Alonso (a5), Matthias C. Angermeyer (a6), Evelyn J. Bromet (a7), Huibert Burger (a8), Koen Demyttenaere (a9), Giovanni de Girolamo (a10), Josep Maria Haro (a11), Irving Hwang (a2), Elie Karam (a12), Norito Kawakami (a13), Jean Pierre Lépine (a14), María Elena Medina-Mora (a15), José Posada-Villa (a16), Nancy Sampson (a2), Kate Scott (a17), T. Bedirhan Üstün (a18), Michael Von Korff (a19), David R. Williams (a20), Mingyuan Zhang (a21) and Ronald C. Kessler (a2)...
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