Determinants of Mental Illness in a Rural Ethiopian Adult Population

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Addis Abeba Universty


2000 subjects from two woredas of a rural section of Ethiopia were interviewed to determine how many were suffering from mental disorder and what determinants are related to the disorder. A WHO Self-Reporting Questionnaire was used to assess mental illness. The questionnaire has been used before in Ethiopia and measures neurotic, psychotic, and psychosomatic illness in terms of symptoms. 344 cases were found, indicating an overall frequency of 17.2% . The great majority of cases were suffering from neurotic and psychosomatic illnesses. Psychiatric morbidity was higher in women, in divorced/separated/widowed groups, and in the age group 35-44. However, the level of social stress experienced in the past year was most predict i ve of mental illness; the higher a person's stress level, the higher the mental symptom score. Family history of mental illness was the second best predictor.



Determinants of Mental Illness