The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among 5-10 year olds in rural, urban and slum areas in Bangladesh

M S I Mullick, R Goodman

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159 Citations (Scopus)


Background No previous epidemiological studies of child mental health have been conducted in Bangladesh, partly due to lack of suitable measures. Methods A Bangla translation of a standardised child psychiatric interview, the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA), was validated against routine clinical diagnoses on a consecutive series of 100 referrals to a child mental health service. A two-phase study of prevalence was applied to random samples of 5- to 10-year-olds (N=922) drawn from three contrasting areas: a rural area, a moderately prosperous urban area, and an urban slum. Results There was substantial agreement between the DAWBA and the independent clinic diagnosis (kappa=0.63-0.94). The estimated prevalence of any ICD-10 diagnosis was 15% (95% CI 11-21%). The rate of obsessive-compulsive disorder was higher than in previous studies. Children from the slum area were significantly more likely to have serious behavioural problems, and marginally more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder. Conclusion A conservative extrapolation is that around 5 million Bangladeshi children and adolescents have psychiatric disorders. In a country with very few child mental health professionals, there is a vast gap between need and provision that must be addressed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663 - 671
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


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