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Only a few European countries have carried out large, community-based, national surveys about psychiatric morbidity. Here is presented the first national French survey, aiming to estimate the prevalence of anxiety disorders and associated comorbidities according to sociodemographic characteristics.
Materials and methods
The Mental Health in General Population (MHGP) database is derived from a representative national survey of the French adult population (n = 36,105), conducted between 1999 and 2003. Data collection was done using an anonymous face-to-face interview. The presence of anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia and post-traumatic stress disorder) was assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview.
The overall prevalence of anxiety disorders was estimated to be 21.6%, generalized anxiety disorder being the most prevalent one (12.8%). Women, young people, and people earning low income were identified as the more at risk. Major depressive episode, alcohol abuse and drug addiction frequently co-occur with anxiety disorders (28.3, 4.4 and 2.8% respectively).
The MHGP study showed that anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in France with a high frequency of comorbidities. Our results highlight the need for considering anxiety disorders as a public health priority in France as well as in other European countries.
To address limitations in measuring the preparedness capacities of health departments, we developed and tested the Local Health Department Preparedness Capacities Assessment Survey (PCAS).
Preexisting instruments and a modified 4-cycle Delphi panel process were used to select instrument items. Pilot test data were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis. Kappa statistics were calculated to examine rater agreement within items. The final instrument was fielded with 85 North Carolina health departments and a national matched comparison group of 248 health departments.
Factor analysis identified 8 initial domains: communications, surveillance and investigation, plans and protocols, workforce and volunteers, legal infrastructure, incident command, exercises and events, and corrective action. Kappa statistics and z scores indicated substantial to moderate agreement among respondents in 7 domains. Cronbach α coefficients ranged from 0.605 for legal infrastructure to 0.929 for corrective action. Mean scores and standard deviations were also calculated for each domain and ranged from 0.41 to 0.72, indicating sufficient variation in the sample to detect changes over time.
The PCAS is a useful tool to determine how well health departments are performing on preparedness measures and identify opportunities for future preparedness improvements. Future survey implementation will incorporate recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:578–584)
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