European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 244, Issue 6, pp 290–296

Classification and epidemiology of social phobia


  • Jean-Pierre Lépine
    • Department of PsychiatryHopital Fernand Widal
  • Joseph Lellouch
    • INSERM Unité 169

DOI: 10.1007/BF02190406

Cite this article as:
Lépine, J. & Lellouch, J. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Nuerosci (1995) 244: 290. doi:10.1007/BF02190406


The individualization of social phobia among other phobic disorders is very recent, although previous clinical descriptions can be found in the literature. The new classifications (DSM-III, DSM-IV and ICD-10) have provided operationalized criteria for this disorder, which have allowed researchers to conduct epidemiological studies. However, some diagnostic issues are not completely solved, namely, those with other boundary disorders. Cross-cultural prevalence and risk factors of social phobia are reviewed. Results of a French community study have found a lifetime prevalence rate of 2.1% in males and 5.4% in females. Comorbidity of social phobia with other anxiety disorders and major depression was high. Suicidal tendencies, family history and health services utilization were analyzed according to the lifetime comorbidity patern of social phobia and depression.

Key words

Social phobiaDiagnosisEpidemiologyComorbidity
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© Springer-Verlag 1995