Life course theory considers events in study and work as potential turning points in deviance, including illicit drug use. This qualitative study explores the role of occupational life in cannabis use and dependence in young adults. Two and three years after the initial structured interview, 47 at baseline frequent cannabis users were interviewed in-depth about the dynamics underlying changes in their cannabis use and dependence. Overall, cannabis use and dependence declined, including interviewees who quit using cannabis completely, in particular with students, both during their study and after they got employed. Life course theory appeared to be a useful framework to explore how and why occupational life is related to cannabis use and dependence over time. Our study showed that life events in this realm are rather common in young adults and can have a strong impact on cannabis use. While sometimes changes in use are temporary, turning points can evolve from changes in educational and employment situations; an effect that seems to be related to the consequences of these changes in terms of amount of leisure time and agency (i.e., feelings of being in control).
frequent cannabis use; cannabis dependence; young adults; qualitative research; life course approach; longitudinal study; education; employment
Better information on the human capital costs of early-onset mental disorders could increase sensitivity of policy-makers to the value of expanding initiatives for early detection-treatment. Data are presented on one important aspect of these costs: the associations of early-onset mental disorders with adult household income.
Data come from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys in eleven high income, five upper-middle income, and six low/lower-middle income countries. Information about 15 lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders as of age of completing education, retrospectively assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview, was used to predict current household income among respondents ages 18-64 (n = 37,741) controlling for level of education. Gross associations were decomposed to evaluate mediating effects through major components of household income.
Early-onset mental disorders are associated with significantly reduced household income in high and upper-middle income countries but not low/lower-middle income countries, with associations consistently stronger among women than men. Total associations are largely due to low personal earnings (increased unemployment, decreased earnings among the employed) and spouse earnings (decreased probabilities of marriage and, if married, spouse employment and low earnings of employed spouses). Individual-level effect sizes are equivalent to 16-33% of median within-country household income, while population-level effect sizes are in the range 1.0-1.4% of Gross Household Income.
Early mental disorders are associated with substantial decrements in income net of education at both individual and societal levels. Policy-makers should take these associations into consideration in making healthcare research and treatment resource allocation decisions.
epidemiology; mental disorders; early-onset; income; cross-national; WHO World Mental Health (WMH)
The link between physical conditions and mental health is poorly understood. Functional disability could explain the association of physical conditions with major depressive episode (MDE) as an intermediary factor.
Data was analyzed from a subsample (N=8,796) of the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD), a cross-sectional general population survey. MDE during the last 12 months was assessed using a revision of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0). Lifetime chronic physical conditions were assessed by self-report. Functional disability was measured using a version of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS). The associations of physical conditions with MDE and explanation by functional disability were quantified using logistic regression.
All physical conditions were significantly associated with MDE. The increases in risk of MDE ranged from 30% for allergy to amply 100% for arthritis and heart disease. When adjusted for physical comorbidity, associations decreased and were no longer statistically significant for allergy and diabetes. Functional disability explained between 17 and 64% of these associations, most substantially for stomach or duodenum ulcer, arthritis and heart disease.
Due to the cross-sectional nature of the study the temporal relationship of the variables could not be assessed and the amount of explanation can not simply be interpreted as the amount of mediation.
Our findings suggest that the association of chronic physical conditions with MDE is partly explained by functional disability. Such explanation is more pronounced for pain causing conditions and heart disease. Health professionals should be particularly aware of the increased risk of depressive disorder when patients experience disability from these conditions.
Major depressive episode; chronic physical conditions; disability
Rates of self-reported psychotic experiences (SRPEs) in general population samples are high; however the reliability against interview-based assessments and the clinical significance of false-positive (FP) ratings remain unclear. Design: The second Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2, a general population study.
Trained lay interviewers administered a structured interview assessing psychopathology and psychosocial characteristics in 6646 participants. Participants with at least one SRPE (N = 1084) were reassessed by clinical telephone interview.
Thirty-six percent of participants with SRPEs were confirmed by clinical interview as true positive (TP). SPREs not confirmed by clinical interview (FP group) generated less help-seeking behavior and occurred less frequently compared with TP experiences (TP group). However, compared with controls without psychotic experiences, the FP group more often displayed mood disorder (relative risk [RR] 1.7, 1.4–2.2), substance use disorder (RR 2.0, 1.6–2.6), cannabis use (RR 1.5, 1.2–1.9), higher levels of neuroticism (RR 1.8, 1.5–2.2), affective dysregulation, and social dysfunction. The FP group also experienced more sexual (RR 2.0, 1.5–2.8) and psychological childhood trauma (RR 2.1, 1.7–2.6) as well as peer victimization (RR 1.5, 1.2–2.0) and recent life events (RR 2.0, 1.6–2.4) than controls without psychotic experiences. Differences between the FP group and the TP group across these domains were much smaller and less conclusive.
SRPEs not confirmed by clinical interview may epresent the softest expression of an extended psychosis phenotype that is phenotypically continuous with clinical psychosis but discontinuous in need for care.
diagnosis; schizophrenia; trauma; cannabis; epidemiology; false positive
The WHODAS-II was substantially modified for use in the World Mental Health Surveys. This paper considers the modified WHODAS-II’s psychometric properties and implications of filter items employed to reduce respondent burden.
Study design and setting
Seventeen surveys in 16 countries administered a modified WHODAS-II to population samples (N=38,934 adults). Modifications included introducing filter questions for four sub-scales and substituting questions on the number of days activity was limited for the Life Activities domain. We evaluated distributional properties, reliability, and validity of the modified WHODAS-II.
Most respondents (77%–99%) had zero scores on filtered subscales. Lower bound estimates of internal consistency (alpha) for the filtered subscales were typically in the 0.70’s, but were higher for the Global scale. Loadings of subscale scores on a Global Disability factor were moderate-to-high. Correlations with the Sheehan Disability Scale were modest but consistently positive, while correlations with SF-12 Physical Component Summary were considerably higher. Cross-national variability in disability scores was observed, but was not readily explainable.
Internal consistency and validity of the modified WHODAS-II was generally supported, but use of filter questions impaired measurement properties. Group differences in modified WHODAS-II disability scores may be compared within, but not necessarily across, countries.
Disability; Measurement; Reliability; Validity; Survey; Epidemiology
Major depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, yet epidemiologic data are not available for many countries, particularly low- to middle-income countries. In this paper, we present data on the prevalence, impairment and demographic correlates of depression from 18 high and low- to middle-income countries in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative.
Major depressive episodes (MDE) as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DMS-IV) were evaluated in face-to-face interviews using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Data from 18 countries were analyzed in this report (n = 89,037). All countries surveyed representative, population-based samples of adults.
The average lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates of DSM-IV MDE were 14.6% and 5.5% in the ten high-income and 11.1% and 5.9% in the eight low- to middle-income countries. The average age of onset ascertained retrospectively was 25.7 in the high-income and 24.0 in low- to middle-income countries. Functional impairment was associated with recency of MDE. The female: male ratio was about 2:1. In high-income countries, younger age was associated with higher 12-month prevalence; by contrast, in several low- to middle-income countries, older age was associated with greater likelihood of MDE. The strongest demographic correlate in high-income countries was being separated from a partner, and in low- to middle-income countries, was being divorced or widowed.
MDE is a significant public-health concern across all regions of the world and is strongly linked to social conditions. Future research is needed to investigate the combination of demographic risk factors that are most strongly associated with MDE in the specific countries included in the WMH.
Early-onset cannabis use is widespread in many countries and might cause later onset of depression. Sound epidemiologic data across countries are missing. The authors estimated the suspected causal association that links early-onset (age <17 years) cannabis use with later-onset (age ≥17 years) risk of a depression spell, using data on 85,088 subjects from 17 countries participating in the population-based World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative (2001–2005). In all surveys, multistage household probability samples were evaluated with a fully structured diagnostic interview for assessment of psychiatric conditions. The association between early-onset cannabis use and later risk of a depression spell was studied using conditional logistic regression with local area matching of cases and controls, controlling for sex, age, tobacco use, and other mental health problems. The overall association was modest (controlled for sex and age, risk ratio = 1.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.4, 1.7), was statistically robust in 5 countries, and showed no sex difference. The association did not change appreciably with statistical adjustment for mental health problems, except for childhood conduct problems, which reduced the association to nonsignificance. This study did not allow differentiation of levels of cannabis use; this issue deserves consideration in future research.
cannabis; depression; mental health; world health
It is unclear whether the normative sequence of drug use initiation, beginning with tobacco and alcohol, progressing to cannabis and then other illicit drugs, is due to causal effects of specific earlier drug use promoting progression, or to influences of other variables such as drug availability and attitudes. One way to investigate this is to see whether risk of later drug use in the sequence, conditional on use of drugs earlier in the sequence, changes according to time-space variation in use prevalence. We compared patterns and order of initiation of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other illicit drug use across 17 countries with a wide range of drug use prevalence.
Analyses used data from World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys, a series of parallel community epidemiological surveys using the same instruments and field procedures carried out in 17 countries throughout the world.
Initiation of “gateway” substances (i.e. alcohol, tobacco and cannabis) was differentially associated with subsequent onset of other illicit drug use based on background prevalence of gateway substance use. Cross-country differences in substance use prevalence also corresponded to differences in the likelihood of individuals reporting a non- normative sequence of substance initiation.
These results suggest the “gateway” pattern at least partially reflects unmeasured common causes rather than causal effects of specific drugs on subsequent use of others. This implies that successful efforts to prevent use of specific “gateway” drugs may not in themselves lead to major reductions in the use of later drugs.
tobacco; alcohol; illicit drugs; gateway; WHO World Mental Health Surveys
Little is known about the cross-national population prevalence or correlates of personality disorders (PDs).
To estimate prevalence and correlates of DSM-IV PD clusters in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys.
International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE) screening questions in 13 countries (n = 21,162) were calibrated to blinded IPDE clinical diagnoses. Prevalence and correlates were estimated using Multiple Imputation.
Prevalence estimates are 6.1% (2.4–7.9%) for any PD and 3.6% (1.1–5.3%), 1.5% (0.4–2.1%), and 2.7% (0.9–4.2%) for Clusters A–C, respectively. PDs are significantly elevated among males, the previously married (Cluster C), unemployed (Cluster C), the young (Clusters A and B) and the poorly education. PDs are highly comorbid with Axis I disorders. Impairments associated with PDs are only partially explained by comorbidity.
PDs are relatively common disorders that often co-occur with Axis I disorders and are associated with significant role impairments beyond those due to comorbidity.
Comorbidity; Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI); Epidemiology; International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE); Personality disorders
Community studies about the association of headache with both childhood family adversities and depression/anxiety disorders are limited.
To assess the independent and joint associations of childhood family adversities and early-onset depression and anxiety disorders with risks of adult-onset headache.
Data were pooled from cross-sectional community surveys conducted in ten Latin and North American, European and Asian countries (n=18 303) by using standardised instruments. Headache and a range of childhood family adversities were assessed by self-report.
The number of childhood family adversities was associated with adult-onset headache after adjusting for gender, age, country and early-onset depression/anxiety disorder status (for one adversity, hazard ratio (HR)=1.22–1.6; for two adversities, HR=1.19–1.67; for three or more adversities, HR=1.37–1.95). Early and current onset of depression/anxiety disorders were independently associated (HR=1.42–1.89) with adult-onset headache after controlling for number of childhood family adversities.
The findings call for a broad developmental perspective concerning risk factors for development of headache.
Although it is known that childhood ADHD often persists into adulthood, the childhood predictors of this persistence have not been widely studied.
Childhood history of DSM-IV ADHD and adult ADHD were assessed in ten countries in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys. Logistic regression analysis was used to study associations of retrospectively reported childhood risk factors with adult persistence among the 629 adult respondents with childhood ADHD. The risk factors included age, gender, childhood ADHD symptom profiles and severity and treatment, comorbid child-adolescent DSM-IV disorders, childhood family adversities, and child-adolescent exposure to traumatic events.
An average of 50% of children with ADHD (range: 32.8-84.1% across countries) continued to meet DSM-IV criteria for ADHD as adults. Persistence was strongly related to childhood ADHD symptom profile (highest persistence associated with the attentional plus impulsive-hyperactive type, OR = 12.4, compared to the lowest associated with the impulsive-hyperactive type), symptom severity (OR = 2.0), comorbid major depressive disorder (OR = 2.2), high comorbidity (three or more child-adolescent disorders in addition to ADHD; OR = 1.7), paternal (but not maternal) anxiety-mood disorder (OR = 2.4), and parental antisocial personality disorder (OR = 2.2). A multivariate risk profile of these variables significantly predicts persistence of ADHD into adulthood (Area Under the ROC Curve = .76).
A substantial proportion of children with ADHD continue to meet full criteria for ADHD as adults. A multivariate risk index classifies made up of variables that can be assessed in adolescence predicts persistence with good accuracy.
Attention-deficit/hyperactvity disorder (ADHD); adult ADHD; epidemiology; course of illness; risk factors for disorder persistence
To estimate the prevalence and workplace consequences of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Ann ADHD screen was administered to 18–44 year-old respondents in ten national surveys in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative (n = 7075 in paid or self employment; response rate 45.9–87.7% across countries). Blinded clinical reappraisal interviews were administered in the US to calibrate the screen. Days out of role were measured in the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHO-DAS). Questions were also asked about ADHD treatment.
An average of 3.5% of workers in the ten countries was estimated to meet DSM-IV criteria for adult ADHD (inter-quartile range: 1.3–4.9%). ADHD was more common among males than females and less common among professionals than other workers. ADHD was associated with a statistically significant 22.1 annual days of excess lost role performance compared to otherwise similar respondents without ADHD. No difference in the magnitude of this effect was found by occupation, education, age, gender, or partner status. This effect was most pronounced in Colombia, Italy, Lebanon, and the US. Although only a small minority of workers with ADHD ever received treatment for this condition, higher proportions were treated for comorbid mental-substance disorders.
ADHD is a relatively common condition among working people in the countries studied and is associated with high work impairment in these countries. This impairment, in conjunction with the low treatment rate and the availability of cost-effective therapies, suggests that ADHD would be a good candidate for targeted workplace screening and treatment programs.
A high proportion of childhood ADHD persists into adulthood.
An average of 3.5% of workers in nationally representative surveys carried out in 10 countries met criteria for current DSM-IV adult ADHD.
Workers with ADHD have an average 8.4 excess sickness absence days per year and even higher annualized average excess numbers of workdays associated with reduced work quantity (21.7 days) and quality (13.6 days).
Only a small majority of these workers are treated for ADHD despite evidence that such treatment can be quite effective in improving functioning.
ADHD is a good candidate for targeted workplace screening and treatment programs.
Evaluation is needed to determine the extent to which best-practices outreach and treatment interventions would result in improvements in work performance that have a positive return-on-investment from the employer perspective.
ADHD; Work loss; Functioning
Suicide is a leading cause of death world-wide; however, the prevalence and risk factors for the immediate precursors to suicide: suicidal ideation, plans and attempts, are not well-known, especially in developing countries.
To report on the prevalence and risk factors for suicidal behaviors across 17 countries.
84,850 adults were interviewed regarding suicidal behaviors and socio-demographic and psychiatric risk factors.
The cross-national lifetime prevalence (standard error) of suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts is 9.2% (0.1), 3.1% (0.1), and 2.7% (0.1). Across all countries, 60% of transitions from ideation to plan and attempt occur within the first year after ideation onset. Consistent cross-national risk factors included being: female, younger, less educated, unmarried, and having a mental disorder. Interestingly, the strongest diagnostic risk factors were mood disorders in developed countries but impulse-control disorders in developing countries.
Despite cross-national variability in prevalence, there is strong consistency in the characteristics of and risk factors for suicidal behaviors. These findings have significant implications for the prediction and prevention of suicidal behaviors.
Little is known about late-onset psychosis (onset after the age 45 years) and how it relates to early-onset psychosis (before age 45 years). The aims of this study were to calculate the incidence of non-affective, non-organic psychotic symptoms across the life span and to explore the contribution of different sets of risk factors in relation to age at onset.
Data were obtained from the three measurements of the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study. Symptoms of psychosis were assessed in individuals aged 18–64 years using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. All individuals reporting first-onset of psychotic symptoms within a three-year interval were included. The degree to which sets of risk factors affected the psychosis outcome similarly across age groups was assessed.
The number of subjects displaying incident psychotic symptoms was similar across age groups. Cumulative incidence rates ranged from 0.3% to 0.4%. Age differences were found for life-time depressive symptoms (risk difference = 5%, 95% CI = 1%, 9%) and baseline neuroticism (risk difference = 3%, 95% CI = 0%, 6%), indicating that late-onset psychosis was less often preceded by these. In contrast, no effect modification by age was observed for female sex, hearing impairment, being single, or life-time cannabis use.
Onset of psychotic symptoms in late life is no rare event. Compared to early onset psychosis, the late-onset counterpart less often arises in a context of emotional dysfunction and negative affectivity, suggesting qualitative differences in aetiology and more effective premorbid coping styles.
psychosis; late onset; risk factors; incidence; general population
This paper presents an overview of the prospective cohort design of the Dutch Cannabis Dependence (CanDep) study, which investigates (i) the three-year natural course of frequent cannabis use (≥ three days per week in the past 12 months) and cannabis dependence; and (ii) the factors involved in the transition from frequent non-dependent cannabis use to cannabis dependence, and remission from dependence. Besides its scientific relevance, this knowledge may contribute to improve selective and indicated prevention, early detection, treatment and cannabis policies. The secondary objectives are the identification of factors related to treatment seeking and the validation of self report measures of cannabis use.
Between September 2008 and April 2009, baseline data were collected from 600 frequent cannabis users with an average age of 22.1 years, predominantly male (79.3%) and an average cannabis use history of 7.1 years; 42.0% fulfilled a (12-month DSM-IV) diagnosis of cannabis dependence. The response rate was 83.7% after the first follow up at 18 months. The second and last follow-up is planned at 36 months. Computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI) were conducted which covered: cannabis use (including detailed assessments of exposure, motives for use and potency preference); use of other substances; DSM-IV internalizing and externalizing mental disorders; treatment seeking; personality; life events; social support and social functioning. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
design; frequent cannabis use; cannabis dependence; longitudinal
Cross-national variance in smoking prevalence is relatively well documented. The aim of this study is to estimate levels of smoking persistence across 21 countries with a hypothesized inverse relationship between country income level and smoking persistence.
Data from the World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative were used to estimate cross-national differences in smoking persistence–the proportion of adults who started to smoke and persisted in smoking by the date of the survey.
There is large variation in smoking persistence from 25% (Nigeria) to 85% (China), with a random-effects meta-analytic summary estimate of 55% with considerable cross-national variation. (Cochran's heterogeneity Q statistic=6,845; p<0.001). Meta-regressions indicated observed differences are not attributable to differences in country income level, age distribution of smokers, or how recent the onset of smoking began within each country.
While smoking should remain an important public health issue in any country where smokers are present, this report identifies several countries with higher levels of smoking persistence (namely, China and India).
Associations between specific parent and offspring mental disorders are likely to have been overestimated in studies that have failed to control for parent comorbidity.
To examine the associations of parent with respondent disorders.
Data come from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys (n = 51 507). Respondent disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and parent disorders with informant-based Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria interviews.
Although virtually all parent disorders examined (major depressive, generalised anxiety, panic, substance and antisocial behaviour disorders and suicidality) were significantly associated with offspring disorders in multivariate analyses, little specificity was found. Comorbid parent disorders had significant sub-additive associations with offspring disorders. Population-attributable risk proportions for parent disorders were 12.4% across all offspring disorders, generally higher in high- and upper-middle- than low-/lower-middle-income countries, and consistently higher for behaviour (11.0-19.9%) than other (7.1-14.0%) disorders.
Parent psychopathology is a robust non-specific predictor associated with a substantial proportion of offspring disorders.
Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide; however, little information is available about the treatment of suicidal people, or about barriers to treatment.
To examine the receipt of mental health treatment and barriers to care among suicidal people around the world.
Twenty-one nationally representative samples worldwide (n=55 302; age 18 years and over) from the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Surveys were interviewed regarding past-year suicidal behaviour and past-year healthcare use. Suicidal respondents who had not used services in the past year were asked why they had not sought care.
Two-fifths of the suicidal respondents had received treatment (from 17% in low-income countries to 56% in high-income countries), mostly from a general medical practitioner (22%), psychiatrist (15%) or non-psychiatrist (15%). Those who had actually attempted suicide were more likely to receive care. Low perceived need was the most important reason for not seeking help (58%), followed by attitudinal barriers such as the wish to handle the problem alone (40%) and structural barriers such as financial concerns (15%). Only 7% of respondents endorsed stigma as a reason for not seeking treatment.
Most people with suicide ideation, plans and attempts receive no treatment. This is a consistent and pervasive finding, especially in low-income countries. Improving the receipt of treatment worldwide will have to take into account culture-specific factors that may influence the process of help-seeking.
Prior research suggests that parental psychopathology predicts suicidal behavior among offspring; however, the more fine-grained associations between specific parental disorders and distinct stages of the pathway to suicide are not well-understood. We set out to test the hypothesis that parental disorders associated with negative mood would predict offspring suicide ideation, whereas disorders characterized by impulsive-aggression (e,g., antisocial personality) and anxiety/agitation (e.g., panic disorder) would predict which offspring act on their suicide ideation and make a suicide attempt. Data were collected during face-to-face interviews conducted on nationally representative samples (N=55,299; age 18+) from 21 countries around the world. We tested the associations between a range of parental disorders and the onset and persistence over time (i.e., time-since-most-recent-episode controlling for age-of-onset and time-since-onset) of subsequent suicidal behavior (suicide ideation, plans, and attempts) among offspring. Analyses tested bivariate and multivariate associations between each parental disorder and distinct forms of suicidal behavior. Results revealed that each parental disorder examined increased the risk of suicide ideation among offspring, parental generalized anxiety and depression emerged as the only predictors of the onset and persistence (respectively) of suicide plans among offspring with ideation, whereas parental anti-social personality and anxiety disorders emerged as the only predictors of the onset and persistence of suicide attempts among ideators. A dose-response relation between parental disorders and respondent risk of suicide ideation and attempt also was found. Parental death by suicide was a particularly strong predictor of persistence of suicide attempts among offspring. These associations remained significant after controlling for comorbidity of parental disorders and for the presence of mental disorders among offspring. These findings should inform future explorations of the mechanisms of inter-generational transmission of suicidal behavior.
suicide; parent and family history; intergenerational transmission
Although numerous studies have examined the role of latent variables in the structure of comorbidity among mental disorders, none has examined their role in the development of comorbidity.
To study the role of latent variables in the development of comorbidity among 18 lifetime DSM-IV disorders in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys.
Nationally or regionally representative community surveys in 14 countries with a total of 21,229 respondents.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
First onset of 18 lifetime DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavior, and substance disorders assessed retrospectively in the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Separate internalizing (anxiety and mood disorders) and externalizing (behavior and substance disorders) factors were found in exploratory factor analysis of lifetime disorders. Consistently significant positive time-lagged associations were found in survival analyses for virtually all temporally primary lifetime disorders predicting subsequent onset of other disorders. Within-domain (i.e., internalizing or externalizing) associations were generally stronger than between-domain associations. The vast majority of time-lagged associations were explained by a model that assumed the existence of mediating latent internalizing and externalizing variables. Specific phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (internalizing) and hyperactivity disorder and oppositional-defiant disorder (externalizing) were the most important predictors. A small number of residual associations remained significant after controlling the latent variables.
The good fit of the latent variable model suggests that common causal pathways account for most of the comorbidity among the disorders considered here. These common pathways should be the focus of future research on the development of comorbidity, although several important pair-wise associations that cannot be accounted for by latent variables also exist that warrant further focused study.
Controversy exists about the utility of DSM-IV post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Criterion A2: that exposure to a potentially traumatic experience (PTE; PTSD Criterion A1) is accompanied by intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
Lifetime DSM-IV PTSD was assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview in community surveys of 52,826 respondents across 21 countries in the World Mental Health Surveys.
37.6% of 28,490 representative PTEs reported by respondents met Criterion A2, a proportion higher than the proportions meeting other criteria (B-F; 5.4-9.6%). Conditional prevalence of meeting all other criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD given a PTE was significantly higher in the presence (9.7%) than absence (0.1%) of A2. However, as only 1.4% of respondents who met all other criteria failed A2, the estimated prevalence of PTSD increased only slightly (from 3.64% to 3.69%) when A2 was not required for diagnosis. PTSD with or without Criterion A2 did not differ in persistence or predicted consequences (subsequent suicidal ideation or secondary disorders) depending on presence-absence of A2. Furthermore, as A2 was by far the most commonly reported symptom of PTSD, initial assessment of A2 would be much less efficient than screening other criteria in quickly ruling out a large proportion of non-cases.
Removal of A2 from the DSM-IV criterion set would reduce the complexity of diagnosing PTSD while not substantially increasing the number of people who qualify for diagnosis. A2 should consequently be reconceptualized as a risk factor for PTSD rather than as a diagnostic requirement.
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); potentially traumatic experience (PTE); Criterion A2; diagnosis; DSM-IV; Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI); World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys
Burden-of-illness data, which are often used in setting healthcare
policy-spending priorities, are unavailable for mental disorders in most
To examine one central aspect of illness burden, the association of serious
mental illness with earnings, in the World Health Organization (WHO) World
Mental Health (WMH) Surveys.
The WMH Surveys were carried out in 10 high-income and 9 low- and
middle-income countries. The associations of personal earnings with serious
mental illness were estimated.
Respondents with serious mental illness earned on average a third less than
median earnings, with no significant between-country differences
(χ2(9) = 5.5–8.1, P = 0.52–0.79). These
losses are equivalent to 0.3–0.8% of total national earnings. Reduced
earnings among those with earnings and the increased probability of not
earning are both important components of these associations.
These results add to a growing body of evidence that mental disorders have
high societal costs. Decisions about healthcare resource allocation should
take these costs into consideration.
Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, but the precise effect of
childhood adversities as risk factors for the onset and persistence of
suicidal behaviour (suicide ideation, plans and attempts) are not well
To examine the associations between childhood adversities as risk factors
for the onset and persistence of suicidal behaviour across 21 countries
Respondents from nationally representative samples (n = 55 299)
were interviewed regarding childhood adversities that occurred before the age
of 18 years and lifetime suicidal behaviour.
Childhood adversities were associated with an increased risk of suicide
attempt and ideation in both bivariate and multivariate models (odds ratio
range 1.2–5.7). The risk increased with the number of adversities
experienced, but at a decreasing rate. Sexual and physical abuse were
consistently the strongest risk factors for both the onset and persistence of
suicidal behaviour, especially during adolescence. Associations remained
similar after additional adjustment for respondents’ lifetime mental
Childhood adversities (especially intrusive or aggressive adversities) are
powerful predictors of the onset and persistence of suicidal behaviours.
Although social anxiety disorder (SAD) is classified in DSM-IV into generalized and non-generalized subtypes, community surveys in Western countries find no evidence of disjunctions in the dose-response relationship between number of social fears and outcomes to support this distinction. We aimed to determine whether this holds across a broader set of developed and developing countries and whether subtyping according to number of performance versus interactional fears would be more useful.
The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative undertook population epidemiological surveys in 11 developing and 9 developed countries using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) to assess DSM-IV disorders. Fourteen performance and interactional fears were assessed. Associations between number of social fears in SAD and numerous outcomes (age-of-onset, persistence, severity, comorbidity, treatment) were examined. Additional analyses examined associations with number of performance fears versus number of interactional fears.
Lifetime social fears are quite common in both developed (15.9%) and developing (14.3%) countries, but lifetime SAD is much more common in the former (6.1%) than latter (2.1%) countries. Among those with SAD, persistence, severity, comorbidity, and treatment all have dose-response relationships with number of social fears, with no clear nonlinearity in relationships that would support a distinction between generalized and non-generalized SAD. The distinction between performance fears and interactional fears is generally not important in predicting these same outcomes.
No evidence is found to support subtyping SAD on the basis of either number of social fears or number of performance fears versus number of interactional fears.
Due to demographic change, the advanced elderly represent the fastest growing population group in Europe. Health problems tend to be frequent and increasing with age within this cohort.
Aims of the study
To describe and compare health status of the elderly population in six European countries and to analyze the impact of socio-demographic variables on health.
In the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD), representative non-institutionalized population samples completed the EQ-5D and Short Form-12 (SF-12) questionnaires as part of personal computer-based home interviews in 2001-2003. This study is based on a subsample of 1659 respondents aged ≥ 75 years from Belgium (n = 194), France (n = 168), Germany (n = 244), Italy (n = 317), the Netherlands (n = 164) and Spain (n = 572). Descriptive statistics, bivariate- (chi-square tests) and multivariate methods (linear regressions) were used to examine differences in population health.
68.8% of respondents reported problems in one or more EQ-5D dimensions, most frequently pain/discomfort (55.2%), followed by mobility (50.0%), usual activities (36.6%), self-care (18.1%) and anxiety/depression (11.6%). The proportion of respondents reporting any problems increased significantly with age in bivariate analyses (age 75-79: 65.4%; age 80-84: 69.2%; age ≥ 85: 81.1%) and differed between countries, ranging from 58.7% in the Netherlands to 72.3% in Italy. The mean EQ VAS score was 61.9, decreasing with age (age 75-79: 64.1; age 80-84: 59.8; age ≥ 85: 56.7) and ranging from 60.0 in Italy to 72.9 in the Netherlands. SF-12 derived Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores varied little by age and country. Age and low educational level were associated with lower EQ VAS and PCS scores. After controlling for socio-demographic variables and reported EQ-5D health states, mean EQ VAS scores were significantly higher in the Netherlands and Belgium, and lower in Germany than the grand mean.
More than two thirds of the advanced elderly report impairment of health status. Impairment increases rapidly with age but differs considerably between countries. In all countries, health status is significantly associated with socio-demographic variables.