Role of common mental and physical disorders in partial disability around the world

Ronny Bruffaerts, Gemma Vilagut, Koen Demyttenaere, Jordi Alonso, Ali AlHamzawi, Laura Helena Andrade, Corina Benjet, Evelyn Bromet, Brendan Bunting, Giovanni De Girolamo, Silvia Florescu, Oye Gureje, Josep Maria Haro, Yanling He, Hristo Hinkov, Chiyi Hu, Elie G. Karam, Jean Pierre Lepine, Daphna Levinson, Herbert MatschingerYoshibumi Nakane, Johan Ormel, Jose Posada-Villa, Kate M. Scott, Matthew Varghese, David R. Williams, Miguel Xavier, Ronald C. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mental and physical disorders are associated with total disability, but their effects on days with partial disability (i.e. the ability to perform some, but not full-role, functioning in daily life) are not well understood. Aims: To estimate individual (i.e. the consequences for an individual with a disorder) and societal effects (i.e. the avoidable partial disability in the society due to disorders) of mental and physical disorders on days with partial disability around the world. Method: Respondents from 26 nationally representative samples (n = 61 259, age 18+) were interviewed regarding mental and physical disorders, and day-to-day functioning. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview, version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) was used to assess mental disorders; partial disability (expressed in full day equivalents) was assessed with the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule in the CIDI 3.0. Results: Respondents with disorders reported about 1.58 additional disability days per month compared with respondents without disorders. At the individual level, mental disorders (especially post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and bipolar disorder) yielded a higher number of days with disability than physical disorders. At the societal level, the population attributable risk proportion due to physical and mental disorders was 49% and 15% respectively. Conclusions: Mental and physical disorders have a considerable impact on partial disability, at both the individual and at the societal level. Physical disorders yielded higher effects on partial disability than mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


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