Background: Mental health is one of the most important public health issues because of its major contribution in decreasing the global burden of disease and its important role in assurance, dynamism, and efficacy. The present study evaluates the prevalence of mental disorders in the over 18-year-old population in Kashan, Iran during 2008-2009.
Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study. Subjects were selected via stratified random sampling. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, subjects were evaluated using the General Health Questionnaire. In stage two, two psychiatrists used a DSM-IV checklist to conduct clinical interviews. The collected data were analyzed by SPSS version 16, OR, CI, Chi-square, and Mantel-Heanszel tests.
Results: The prevalence of mental disorders in Kashan was 29.2%. In women it was 35.5%, and in men, 21.2%. The most prevalent disorders were mood (9.3%) and anxiety disorders (4.7%). Among the 505 subjects with mental disorders based on clinical interviews, 162 (32.1%) suffered from mood disorders, 129 (25.6%) anxiety disorders, 21 (4.2%) psychotic disorders, 16 (3.4 %) neurologic disorders, 17 (3.4%) dissociative disorders, and 120 (23.7%) had other disorders. In this study, 7.8% of the subjects had at least one mental disorder. In the case of mood disorders, major depression (8.2%) was the most common; as for anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder (7.2%) was the most prevalent. The prevalence was higher in people aged 56-65 (35.8%), widows (35.8%), the illiterate (42.8%), and the unemployed (38.8%). Mental disorder was significantly affected by gender, education, occupation, and marital status.
Conclusions: The results show that psychiatric disorders in Kashan are higher than at the time of the previous research in this region (1999). Therefore, prevention programs and treatment of psychiatric disorders in this city are of great priority.