Objective: To provide estimates of the prevalence of selected mental
disorders in the Western Cape, based on the consensus achieved by a
working group established for this purpose.
Method: An expert working group was established to provide technical
expertise for the project. Potential risk factors likely to influence
local prevalence rates were identified. Annual prevalence rates for
adults and for children and adolescents were derived by consensus,
informed by a systematic literature review. Prevalence rates were
derived for individual disorders and adjusted for comorbidity.
Results: The overall prevalence was 25.0% for adults and 17.0% for
children and adolescents.
Conclusion: Prevalence rates of child, adolescent and adult mental
disorders were derived in a short period of time and with the use of
minimal resources. Although of unknown validity, they are useful for
policy development and for planning service utilisation estimates,
resource costing and targets for service development for local mental
health needs. This in the absence of an existing methodologically sound
national prevalence study. We recommend that policy and programme
developers draw on the expertise of local academics and clinicians to
promote research-informed planning and policy development in the public
South African Psychiatry Review (2009) 9 (3) 157-160
The prevalence of mental disorders among children, adolescents and adults in the Western Cape, South Africa.