Prevalence of mental disorders in adult population attending primary health care setting in Qatari population

J Pak Med Assoc. 2011 Mar;61(3):216-21.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of common mental disorders in Qatari population attending primary health care settings and identify the people at high risk.

Methods: A prospective cross sectional study was conducted from July 2009 to December 2009 at the primary health care centers of the Supreme Council of Health, State of Qatar. A total of 2080 Qatari subjects aged 18 to 65 years were approached and 1660 (79.8%) patients particiapted in this study. The study was based on a face to face interview with a designed diagnostic screening questionnaire which contained 79 questions on symptoms and signs of of various common mental disorders such as Anxiety disorder, Depression, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Phobia, personality disorder, Bipolar disorder, Dementia, Schizophrenia, Alcohol abuse and other drug abuse. A standard forward-backward procedure was applied to translate the English version of the questionnaire to Arabic. Also, Socio-demographic charecteristics and medical history of patients were collected. The Diagnostic screening quetionnaire was reviewed and the final score, calculated which determined a provisional diagnosis. Physicians determined the definitive diagnosis by further checking and screening the symptoms.

Results: Of the studied Qatari subjects, 46.2% were males and 53.8% were females. The overall prevalence of mental disorders was 36.6%. Depression (13.5%) was the most common mental disorder, followed by anxiety disorders (10.3%). Qatari women (55.6%, p=0.005) were significantly at higher risk for common mental disorders compared to men (44.4%). Regarding their relationaships with age, Depression (42.9%), anxiety disorder (43.3%), obsessive compulsive disorder (56.9%), phobia (62%), personality disorder (51.6%) and bipolar disorder (47.9%) were found to be most common in the young population aged 18 - 34 years. The highest prevalence of Dementia was seen in the population above 50 years (52.6%), but schizophrenia was prevalent in the age group 35 - 49 years (52.5%).

Conclusion: The study findings revealed that the almost one-quarter of all Qatari adults who attended the primary health care setting presented with atleast one type of mental disorder. The high risk groups were females, younger age and education. The highest prevalence of common mental disorders in Qatari population was depression and anxiety disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Qatar / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult