Advertisement

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 189–199 | Cite as

Psychiatric disorders in students in six French universities: 12-month prevalence, comorbidity, impairment and help-seeking

  • Pierre Verger
  • Valérie Guagliardo
  • Fabien Gilbert
  • Frédéric Rouillon
  • Viviane Kovess-Masfety
Original Paper

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have explored the prevalence of psychiatric disorders (PD) among university students. This article aims to study 12-month prevalence of PD in university students, their socio-economic correlates, impairment in daily life and help-seeking behaviours.

Methods

Cross-sectional study of randomly selected first-year students aged 18–24 years, enrolled in one of the six universities in south-eastern France in 2005–2006. We used the WHO CIDI-Short Form to derive DSM-IV diagnoses and the Sheehan disability scale to evaluate impairment. We studied their correlates with multiple logistic regressions.

Results

The 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety disorders (AD) and substance use disorders (SUD) were 8.9% (95% CI: 7.2–10.9), 15.7% (95% CI: 13.5–18.2) and 8.1% (95% CI: 6.7–9.8), respectively. MDD was associated with precarious economic situation (OR = 1.83; 95% CI: 1.03–3.23), AD with a precarious job or unemployment of the father (OR = 2.08; 95% CI: 1.04–4.14) and SUD with higher educational level of father (OR = 2.17; 95% CI: 1.28–3.67) or having a paid job (OR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.06–3.13). “Marked” or “extreme” impairment (score ≥7 for at least one of the domains in the Sheehan scale) was noted for 51.7% of students presenting a PD and was even more frequent in the presence of MDD/AD comorbidity. Only 30.5% of the students with a PD had sought professional help in the past 12 months.

Conclusions

This study provides new results regarding university students suggesting a link between precarious economic situations and MDD. The frequent impairment arising from PD alongside low rates of help-seeking suggests that PD could be one of the factors in academic failure in first year of university. These results should be used to improve prevention and care of PD in university students in France.

Keywords

Mental disorders Prevalence Universities Students 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study received funding from the Southeastern France Regional Council, the National Institute for Health Prevention and Education (INPES) and from the Public Health Direction of the city of Marseilles. We thank Angela Verdier for translating the manuscript into English.

References

  1. 1.
    Aalto-Setala T, Marttunen M, Tuulio-Henriksson A, Poikolainen K, Lonnqvist J (2002) Psychiatric treatment seeking and psychosocial impairment among young adults with depression. J Affect Disord 70:35–47CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aertgeerts B, Buntinx F, Fevery J, Ansoms S (2000) Is there a difference between CAGE interviews and written CAGE questionnaires? Alcohol Clin Exp Res 24:733–736CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alonso J, Angermeyer M, Bernert S et al (2004) Use of mental health services in Europe: results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) project. Acta Psychiatr Scand (Suppl 420):47–54Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alonso J, Angermeyer MC, Bernert S et al (2004) Prevalence of mental disorders in Europe: results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) project. Acta Psychiatr Scand (Suppl 420):21–27Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edn (DSM IV). American Psychiatric Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Best KM, Hauser ST, Gralinski-Bakker JH, Allen JP, Crowell J (2004) Adolescent psychiatric hospitalization and mortality, distress levels, and educational attainment: follow-up after 11 and 20 years. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 158:749–752CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Borsari B, Murphy JG, Barnett NP (2007) Predictors of alcohol use during the first year of college: implications for prevention. Addict Behav 32:2062–2086CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bouhia R (2004) Les étudiants en classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles. Année 2003–2004. In: Ministère de l’éducation nationale. Direction de l’évaluation et de la prospective, ed. Note d’information. Vanves: Ministère de l’éducation nationale, enseignement supérieur, recherche:6Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Choquet M, Darves-Bornoz JM, Ledoux S, Manfredi R, Hassler C (1997) Self-reported health and behavioral problems among adolescent victims of rape in France: results of a cross-sectional survey. Child Abuse Negl 21:823–832CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dawson DA, Grant BF, Stinson FS, Chou PS (2005) Psychopathology associated with drinking and alcohol use disorders in the college and general adult populations. Drug Alcohol Depend 77:139–150CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Eisenberg D, Golberstein E, Gollust SE (2007) Help-seeking and access to mental health care in a university student population. Med Care 45:594–601CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Essau CA, Conradt J, Petermann F (2000) Frequency, comorbidity, and psychosocial impairment of anxiety disorders in German adolescents. J Anxiety Disord 14:263–279CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fowler FJ Jr, Gallagher PM, Stringfellow VL, Zaslavsky AM, Thompson JW, Cleary PD (2002) Using telephone interviews to reduce nonresponse bias to mail surveys of health plan members. Med Care 40:190–200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haarasilta L, Marttunen M, Kaprio J, Aro H (2003) Major depressive episode and health care use among adolescents and young adults. Soc Psychiatry and Psychiatr Epidemiol 38:366–372Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hankin BL, Abramson LY, Moffitt TE, Silva PA, McGee R, Angell KE (1998) Development of depression from preadolescence to young adulthood: emerging gender differences in a 10-year longitudinal study. J Abnorm Psychol 107:128–140CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hoeymans N, Garssen AA, Westert GP, Verhaak PF (2004) Measuring mental health of the Dutch population: a comparison of the GHQ-12 and the MHI-5. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2:23CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ialongo N, McCreary BK, Pearson JL et al (2004) Major depressive disorder in a population of urban, African–American young adults: prevalence, correlates, comorbidity and unmet mental health service need. J Affect Disord 79:127–136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kessler R, Andrews G, Mroczeek D, Ustun B, Wittchen H (1998) The World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short-Form (CIDI-SF). Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 7:171–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kessler RC, Foster CL, Saunders WB, Stang PE (1995) Social consequences of psychiatric disorders, I: Educational attainment. Am J Psychiatry 152:1026–1032PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Korkeila J, Lehtinen V, Bijl R et al (2003) Establishing a set of mental health indicators for Europe. Scand J Public Health 31:451–459CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kuntsche E, Rehm J, Gmel G (2004) Characteristics of binge drinkers in Europe. Soc Sci Med 59:113–127CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lamboy B, Leon C, Guilbert P (2007) Depressive disorders and use of health services in the French population according to the Health Barometer 2005. Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique 55:222–227PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lehtinen V, Sohlman B, Kovess-Masfety V (2005) Level of positive mental health in the European Union: results from the Eurobarometer 2002 survey. Clin Pract Epidemol Ment Health 1:9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Leon AC, Olfson M, Portera L, Farber L, Sheehan DV (1997) Assessing psychiatric impairment in primary care with the Sheehan Disability Scale. Int J Psychiatry Med 27:93–105PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Leplege A, Ecosse E, Verdier A, Perneger TV (1998) The French SF-36 Health Survey: translation, cultural adaptation and preliminary psychometric evaluation. J Clin Epidemiol 51:1013–1023CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Link MW, Mokdad AH (2005) Alternative modes for health surveillance surveys: an experiment with web, mail, and telephone. Epidemiology 16:701–704CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Patel V, Flisher AJ, Hetrick S, McGorry P (2007) Mental health of young people: a global public-health challenge. Lancet 369:1302–1313CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Patten SB (2000) Major depression prevalence in Calgary. Can J Psychiatry 45:923–926PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Patten SB, Wang JL, Beck CA, Maxwell CJ (2005) Measurement issues related to the evaluation and monitoring of major depression prevalence in Canada. Chronic Dis Can 26:100–106PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Pez O, Bitfoi A, Carta M et al (2006) Survey instruments and methods. In: Lavikainen J, Fryers T, Lehtinen V (eds) Improving mental health information in Europe. Proposal of the MINDFUL project. Stakes, EU, MINDFUL, Helsinki, pp 49–66Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rueff B, Crnac J, Darne B (1989) Detection of alcoholic patients using the systematic CAGE autoquestionnaire. In out patients. Presse Med 18:1654–1656PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Storr CL, Ialongo NS, Anthony JC, Breslau N (2007) Childhood antecedents of exposure to traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder. Am J Psychiatry 164:119–125CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    The European Opinion Research Group (2003) The mental health status of the European population. In: General SD (ed) Directorate-General Press and Communication “Opinion Polls, Europe Direct”. SANCO Directorate General, Brussels, p 27Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Turner RJ, Gil AG (2002) Psychiatric and substance use disorders in South Florida: racial/ethnic and gender contrasts in a young adult cohort. Arch Gen Psychiatry 59:43–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Verger P, Combes J-B, Kovess-Masfety V et al (2008) Psychological distress in first year university students: socio-economic and acadaemic stressors, mastery and social support in young men and women. Soc Psychiatr Psychiatr Epidemiol (Epub ahead of print)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wang PS, Angermeyer M, Borges G et al (2007) Delay and failure in treatment seeking after first onset of mental disorders in the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative. World Psychiatry 6:177–185PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Wittchen HU, Nelson CB, Lachner G (1998) Prevalence of mental disorders and psychosocial impairments in adolescents and young adults. Psychol Med 28:109–126CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Verger
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valérie Guagliardo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fabien Gilbert
    • 4
  • Frédéric Rouillon
    • 5
  • Viviane Kovess-Masfety
    • 4
  1. 1.French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM, U912, SE4S)MarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Aix Marseille University, IRD, UMR-S912MarseilleFrance
  3. 3.Southeastern Health Regional ObservatoryMarseilleFrance
  4. 4.MGEN Foundation for Public HealthUniversity Paris VParisFrance
  5. 5.Clinic for Mental Illnesses and Brain Disorders CMMESainte-Anne HospitalParisFrance

Personalised recommendations