The WHO World Mental Health Surveys: Global Perspectives on the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders

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Overview

Mental disorders have profound social, cultural, and economic effects throughout the world. Although most psychiatry and psychology texts provide some basic data on the prevalence and treatment of mental disorders, no previous book has ever presented such data with the breadth or depth of the current volume. Reported here are the first results of the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative, the largest coordinated series of cross-national psychiatric epidemiological surveys ever undertaken. The general population surveys in the WMH series span 17 countries in all parts of the world. In many of these countries the WMH surveys provide the first community epidemiological data ever available on mental disorders in the population. The detailed information on lifetime prevalence, age of onset, course, correlates, and treatment of mental disorders in this volume provides mental health professionals and healthcare policy planners with an unprecedented state-of-the-art reference on the cross-national descriptive epidemiology of mental disorders.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The largest coordinated series of cross-national psychiatric epidemiological surveys ever conducted....The methods are detailed and presented lucidly and engagingly. Results and comparisons chapters illuminate these empirical data with plenty of tables and figures displaying patterns and correlates of prevalence and treatment from the cross-sectional surveys conducted in this cross-national naturalistic initiative....This book definitely belongs in academic medical center/university libraries, and is a highly recommended addition for the personal libraries of anyone interested in understanding the global burden of mental disorders and the underpinnings of its societal impact."
--Doody's Review Service
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Howard M. Kravitz, DO, MPH (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a compilation of results from the first 17 sites completing the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative, the largest coordinated series of cross-national psychiatric epidemiological surveys ever conducted.
Purpose: The purpose of this book, the first in a series of at least three that are planned, is to inform readers of the global importance of mental illness and its treatment. Thirty sites representing 27 countries (~200,000 respondents) participated in these surveys, which began in 1998, and individual and summary comparison results from 17 sites/countries on four continents are presented. Surveys but not data cleaning were completed at the remaining sites by 2008; their results will be posted when available on the WMH web site. This volume focuses principally on the prevalence of mental disorders and their global impact, particularly vis-a-vis severity and disability, and on treatment adequacy/undertreatment.
Audience: The identified targeted audience is physicians and health policy planners. However, the subject matter seems to offer limited clinically relevant information for practicing physicians, at least in the U.S. It is more likely to appeal to psychiatrists, particularly psychiatric epidemiologists (such as this reviewer). The editors and contributing authors are experts in psychiatric epidemiology and survey design/development.
Features: The book is divided into four sections: methods, country-specific results, cross-national comparisons, and conclusions. The methods are detailed and presented lucidly and engagingly. Results and comparisons chapters illuminate these empirical data with plenty of tables and figures displaying patterns and correlates of prevalence and treatment from the cross-sectional surveys conducted in this cross-national naturalistic initiative. The concluding chapter succinctly summarizes the innovative aspects of the WMH surveys and addresses issues regarding the need for this descriptive epidemiological survey of mental disorders, its design and limitations, and measurement in cross-cultural research. References are not encyclopedic but pertinent and up-to-date through the current year (2008). The index includes definitions for acronyms/abbreviations used in the text, though the reader is not informed to look here.
Assessment: The editors and their collaborators have compiled a comprehensive and valuable set of cross-national data, and this first volume captures its richness in text, tables, and figures. Volume updates and listings of journal articles and reports from the WMH surveys will be available on the WMH web site. This book definitely belongs in academic medical center/university libraries, and is a highly recommended addition for the personal libraries of anyone interested in understanding the global burden of mental disorders and the underpinnings of its societal impact. I eagerly await the forthcoming volumes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521884198
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2008
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Ronald C. Kessler is Professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.

Dr T. Bedirhan Ustun works in the Classification, Assessment, Surveys and Terminology Division of the Department of Health Financing and Stewardship at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Contributors; Part I. Methods: 1. Introduction; 2. Sample designs and sampling procedures; 3. Implementation of the World Mental Health Surveys; 4. The World Health Organization composite international diagnostic interview; 5. Translation procedures and translation assessment in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative; 6. Concordance of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) with standardized clinical assessments in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys; Part II. Country Specific Chapters: WHO Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO): 7. Mental disorders in Colombia: results from the World Mental Health Survey; 8. The Mexican National Comorbidity Survey (M-NCS): overview and results; 9. The National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R): cornerstone in improving mental health and mental health care in the United States; WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO): 10. Mental disorders among adult Nigerians: risks, prevalence, and treatment; 11. The South African Stress and Health Survey (SASH): a foundation for improving mental health care in South Africa; WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO): 12. Mental disorders and war in Lebanon; WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO): 13. Mental health in Belgium: current situation and future perspectives; 14. The prevalence of mental disorders and services use in France: results from a national survey 2001–2; 15. Prevalence and treatment of mental disorders in Germany: results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) survey; 16. The prevalence of mental disorders and service use in Israel: results from the national health survey 2003–4; 17. The prevalence of mental disorders and service use in Italy: results from the national health survey 2001–3; 18. Mental disorders and service use in the Netherlands: results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD); 19. The epidemiology of mental disorders in the general population of Spain; 20. The state of mental health and alcoholism in Ukraine; WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO): 21. Mental disorders and service use in China; 22. Twelve-month prevalence, severity and treatment of common mental disorders in communities in Japan: the World Mental Health Japan 2003–4 Survey; 23. Te Rau Hinengaro: the New Zealand Mental Health Survey; Part III. Cross-National Comparisons: 24. Lifetime prevalence and age of onset distributions of mental disorders in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative; 25. Delay and failure in treatment seeking after first onset of mental disorders in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative; 26. Prevalence and severity of mental disorders in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative; 27. Recent treatment of mental disorders in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative; Part IV. Conclusions: 28. Overview and future directions for the World Mental Health Survey Initiative; Index.
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