Background: This paper reports on a two-stage community-based epidemiological study of selected minor psychiatric disorders conducted on an adult African population in South Africa.
Methods: Using a modified random cluster sampling method, 354 adults were identified as the first-stage sample, with the SRQ-20 being used as a first-stage screen. Clinical interviews based on DSM-IV checklists for generalized anxiety disorder, major depression and dysthymia were administered as the second-stage criterion to 81 subjects from the sample.
Results: The weighted prevalence for generalised anxiety and depressive disorders was 23.9% (95% CI 15.1%-32.7%), comprising: generalized anxiety 3.7%, major depression 4.8%, dysthymia 7.3%, and major depression and dysthymia 8.2%. Statistically significant associations were found between caseness and age, marital status, employment, income and educational level.
Conclusions: The results are discussed in relation to comparative local and international data as well as in the context of the current restructuring of the mental-health care system in South Africa from tertiary curative care to integrated primary mental-health care.