Continuities in community-based psychiatric epidemiology

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980 Nov;37(11):1215-23. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780240013001.


Based on data gathered in 1952, the Stirling County (Canada) Study estimated that 20% of a general population needed psychiatric attention. The study used DSM-I as a catalog of qualitatively different kinds of disorders. However, the manual was adapted in light of several inadequacies and special needs that relate to community-based epidemiology. These modifications resemble some of the features that are embodied in DSM-III. It is suggested that the frame of reference for this early study has not become out of date. With certain improvements that follow on the model provided by DSM-III, an updated frame of reference is given as the foundation for future reporting of longitudinal cohort and repeated representative sample studies in Stirling County. DSM-III is superior to its predecessors as a manual for community research. Nevertheless, the use of comparable diagnostic approaches makes it possible to trace continuities between early and recent studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Humans
  • Manuals as Topic
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Research
  • United States