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The South African Stress and Health (SASH) study: 12-month and lifetime prevalence of common mental disorders

Publication Abstract

Herman, A.A., D.J. Stein, S. Seedat, Steven Heeringa, H. Moomal, and David R. Williams. 2009. "The South African Stress and Health (SASH) study: 12-month and lifetime prevalence of common mental disorders." SAMJ South African Medical Journal, 99(5): 339-344.

Background. The South African Stress and Health (SASH) study is the first large-scale population-based Study of common mental disorders in the country. This paper provides data on the 12-month and lifetime prevalence of these conditions. Methods. Data from a nationally representative sample of 4 351 adults were analysed. Mental disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). An extensive survey questionnaire detailed contextual and socio-demographic factors, onset and course of mental disorders, and risk factors. Simple weighted cross-tabulation methods were used to estimate prevalence, and logistic regression analysis was used to study correlates of 12-month and lifetime prevalence. Results. The lifetime prevalence for any disorder was 30.3%, and the most prevalent 12-month and lifetime disorders were the anxiety disorders. The Western Cape had the highest 12-month and lifetime prevalence rates, and the lowest rates were in the Northern Cape. Conclusions. The SASH study shows relatively high 12-month and lifetime prevalence rates. These findings have significant implications for planning mental health services.

PMCID: PMC3191537. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: South Africa.

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