The NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area program. Historical context, major objectives, and study population characteristics

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984 Oct;41(10):934-41. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790210016003.


The National Institute of Mental Health multisite Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) program is described in the context of four previous psychiatric epidemiologic surveys that included a combined total of 4,000 subjects from Stirling County, the Baltimore Morbidity Study, Midtown Manhattan, and the New Haven third-wave survey. The ECA program is distinguished by its sample size of at least 3,500 subjects per site (about 20,000 total); the focus on Diagnostic Interview Schedule--defined DSM-III mental disorders; the one-year reinterview-based longitudinal design to obtain incidence and service use data; the linkage of epidemiologic and health service use data; and the replication of design and method in multiple sites. Demographic characteristics of community and sample populations are provided for New Haven, Conn, Baltimore, and St Louis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catchment Area, Health*
  • Connecticut
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manuals as Topic
  • Maryland
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri
  • National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.)*
  • New York City
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Research Design
  • United States
  • United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration*