ADad 3: The Epidemiology of Anxiety Disorders Among Adolescents in a Rural Community Population in India
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Despite being the most common mental health concern, there is paucity of literature on the epidemiology of anxiety disorders among the adolescent population in India. This study aimed to estimate the period prevalence of Anxiety Disorders (AD) among 11 to 19 y old adolescents in India.
A representative sample of adolescents (N = 500) from a rural community in Southern India was assessed for the period prevalence of all and specific Anxiety Disorders using Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED), and confirmed in a subsequent interview with Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children/Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL).
The prevalence for all AD using the international, Indian SCARED cut-offs and DSM-IV-TR criteria was 8.6 % (boys = 2 %; girls = 6.6 %), 25.8 % (boys = 6.6 %; girls = 19.2 %) and 14.4 % (boys = 4.8 %; girls = 9.6 %) respectively. There were significant gender differences in the prevalence for all Anxiety Disorders (χ2 = 3.61, df = 1; P < 0.05), Separation Anxiety Disorder (χ2 = 22.27, df = 1; P < 0.001) and Social Anxiety Disorder (χ2 = 4.29, df = 1; P < 0.03). Significant age difference in the prevalence of Panic Disorder (χ2 = 10.32; df = 1; P = 0.00) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (χ2 = 5.87; df = 1; P = 0.05) was noted.
The prevalence of Anxiety Disorders in South Indian adolescents was higher than found in the western literature. Prevalence of specific AD was age and gender specific. Adolescent and mental health policies must integrate anxiety disorder of public health significance.
KeywordsAdolescent Anxiety Disorder Epidemiology India
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