Background: Mental Disorders, particularly Depression, are recognised as one of the biggest burden of disease worldwide. Two of the top three burdens of disease in Qatar are mental health related. Yet, there is scarcity of lifetime prevalence data available to understand the impact in this country. Aim: This study uses the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WHO-CIDI), to measure the lifetime prevalence of the most presenting mental disorders in the adult Qatari population, aged 18-65, and examine their symptom patterns and co-morbidity. Design: This is a cross sectional study conducted during the period from April 2010 to October 2011. Setting: Five Primary Health Care (PHC) Centres distributed around the country. Subjects: A total of 1,500 Qatari subjects aged 18 to 65 years were approached; 1,063 (70.8%) gave consent and participated in this study. Methods: Four field supervisors from Qatar were trained and certified as trainers by IDRAAC, the education and training centre responsible for the Arabic translation and validation of CIDI. Variations in Arabic dialect were reported to IDRAAC for verification and approval. In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative, a nationally representative psychiatric epidemiological survey was carried out in Qatar. Prevalence and severity of ICD-10 disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI, Version 3.0). Results: Of the studied 1063 subjects, 50.1% were males and 49.9% were females. Most of the respondents were in the age group 18-34 years (46.1%), followed by 35-49 years (34.1%), then 50-65 years (19.8%). The most common ICD-10 disorders were specific generalized anxiety disorders (20.4)%, and major depression (19.1%), with a higher prevalence in women. 20.6% of the sample had chronic physical conditions. There were high levels of statistically significant differences between age groups and gender regarding Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social phobia, specific phobia, major depression, and personality disorders screen. Women performed significantly worse as assessed by the 30 day functioning screen (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The findings of this study in lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in Qatar are comparable with international figures. Women were more likely than men to have mental illness. Overall, Generalized Anxiety Disorders; Social phobia, specific phobia, major depression, and personality disorders were the commonest disorders.


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