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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DISEASE BURDEN IN NEPAL AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

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Psychological disorders are a substantial part of the disease burden in many developing countries, yet few health services are directed toward the detection and treatment of these disorders. The relationship between psychological disorders and physical health problems was investigated by means of a community survey (N =653) in a small village in Nepal, using a shortened version of the DSM-III-R Checklist to estimate the prevalence of several psychological disorders and a version of the Cornell Medical Index to assess physical illness symptoms. Results indicate that approximately 18.4 percent of this rural population has had a diagnosable mental illness. Moreover, there is substantial overlap between physical health problems and psychological disorder for those with a psychological disorder (32.5%). The findings indicate that health providers in developing countries need to screen for psychological disorders as a standard part of health assessments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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