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Mental health survey of the adult population in Iran

  • A. A. Noorbala (a1), S. A. Bagheri Yazdi (a2), M. T. Yasamy (a3) and K. Mohammad (a4)
Abstract
Background

No national data on the prevalence of mental disorders are available in Iran. Such information may be a prerequisite for efficient national mental health intervention.

Aims

To determine the mental health status of a population sample aged 15 years and over.

Method

Through random cluster sampling, 35 014 individuals were selected and evaluated using the 28-item version of the General Health Questionnaire. A complementary semi-structured clinical interview was also undertaken to detect learning disability (‘mental retardation’), epilepsy and psychosis.

Results

About a fifth of the people in the study (25.9% of the women and 14.9% of the men) were detected as likely cases. The prevalence of mental disorders was 21.33% in rural areas and 20.9% in urban areas. Depression and anxiety symptoms were more prevalent than somatisation and social dysfunction. The interview of families by general practitioners revealed that the rates of learning disability epilepsy and psychosis were 1.4%, 1.2% and 0.6%, respectively Prevalence increased with age and was higher in the married, widowed, divorced, unemployed and retired people.

Conclusions

Prevalence rates are comparable with international studies. There is a wide regional difference in the country, and women are at greater risk.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr A. A. Noorbala, Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, South Kargar Avenue, Tehran, Iran. E-mail: noorbala@irrcs.org
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Mental health survey of the adult population in Iran

  • A. A. Noorbala (a1), S. A. Bagheri Yazdi (a2), M. T. Yasamy (a3) and K. Mohammad (a4)
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