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The epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in Africa: a scoping review

Greene, M. Claire, Yangchen, Tenzin, Lehner, Thomas, Sullivan, Patrick F., Pato, Carlos N., McIntosh, Andrew, Walters, James ORCID:, Gouveia, Lidia C., Msefula, Chisomo L., Fumo, Wilza, Sheikh, Taiwo L., Stockton, Melissa A., Wainberg, Milton L. and Weissman, Myrna M. 2021. The epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in Africa: a scoping review. The Lancet Psychiatry 8 (8) , pp. 717-731. 10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00009-2

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This scoping review of population-based epidemiological studies was done to provide background information on the prevalences and distribution of psychiatric disorders in Africa for calls to broaden diversity in psychiatric genetic studies. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science to retrieve relevant literature in English, French, and Portuguese from Jan 1, 1984, to Aug 18, 2020. In 36 studies from 12 African countries, the lifetime prevalence ranged from 3·3% to 9·8% for mood disorders, from 5·7% to 15·8% for anxiety disorders, from 3·7% to 13·3% for substance use disorders, and from 1·0% to 4·4% for psychotic disorders. Although the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders appears to be lower than that observed in research outside the continent, we identified similar distributions by gender, although not by age or urbanicity. This review reveals gaps in epidemiological research on psychiatric disorders and opportunities to leverage existing epidemiological and genetic research within Africa to advance our understanding of psychiatric disorders. Studies that are methodologically comparable but diverse in geographical context are needed to advance psychiatric epidemiology and provide a foundation for understanding environmental risk in genetic studies of diverse populations globally.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2215-0366
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 4 June 2021
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2022 16:05

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