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Current and residual functional disability associated with psychopathology: findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS)

, : Current and residual functional disability associated with psychopathology: findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS). Psychological Medicine 30(3): 657-668

Few population studies have investigated the functional disabilities that accompany specific psychiatric diagnoses. This study assesses the nature and strength of current and residual impairments in various functional domains of life. Data were derived from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS), a prospective study in the Dutch general population aged 18 to 64 (N = 7147). Psychiatric diagnoses were based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview; functional disability was assessed on the basis of the Short-Form-36 and the number of disability days. Psychopathology was associated with increased disability in social, emotional and physical domains of life. Disability levels varied by psychiatric diagnosis, with mood disorders showing the poorest levels of functioning, especially for vitality and social functioning; alcohol-related disorders were associated with few disabilities. Co-morbidity strongly aggravated the disability. The effect of contextual factors on disability was limited, although somatic ill health, unemployment and adverse youth history increased the likelihood of functional disability. The findings indicate that psychopathology can also have residual debilitating effects. Mental health care providers should be aware that the extent and the type of disability may vary with the different types of disorders and among different groups within the population. Since recovery from functional limitations may not be complete or may take more time than the remission of the psychiatric symptomatology, non-psychiatric follow-up care is needed. The high number of lost work days is relevant from an economic perspective. There is a need for illness-specific disability assessment instruments.


PMID: 10883720

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