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Social Phobia in General Health Care: An Unrecognised Undertreated Disabling Disorder

  • E. Weiller (a1), J. -C. Bisserbe (a1), P. Boyer (a2), J. -P. Lepine (a3) and Y. Lecrubier (a1)...

This study explored the prevalence of social phobia (SP) in general health care, sociodemographic characteristics of patients with SP, the age at onset and severity of SP, its comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders, and the recognition by general practitioners.


The study was conducted in Paris as part of the WHO study on Psychological Problems in General Health Care. Among 2096 consecutive primary care patients, 405 were interviewed using the CIDI. DSM–III–R diagnoses, severity and disability were assessed.


The one-month prevalence of SP is high (4.9) in primary care, although underdiagnosed by GPs. It has an early onset and leads to substantial disability. Patients with SP are at risk of developing further depression, alcoholism or suicidal behaviour.


SP appears to be a true and frequently severe pathological condition. The awareness of GPs and the general population should be improved.

Corresponding author
E. Weiller, Inserm U302, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière Pavilion Clérambault, 47, bd de l'Hôpital, 75651 Paris cedex 13, France
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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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Social Phobia in General Health Care: An Unrecognised Undertreated Disabling Disorder

  • E. Weiller (a1), J. -C. Bisserbe (a1), P. Boyer (a2), J. -P. Lepine (a3) and Y. Lecrubier (a1)...
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