Five Years of Statistics
01 Apr 1879-British Journal of Psychiatry (The Royal College of Psychiatrists)-Vol. 25, Iss: 109, pp 8-19
About: This article is published in British Journal of Psychiatry.The article was published on 1879-04-01 and is currently open access. It has received 2 citation(s) till now.
Abstract: Dementia paralytica is a declining disease. Deaths due to it in England and Wales were first recorded by the Registrar General in 1901 and since that year, when the number was 2,272, the annual figure has fallen steadily until in 1957 it was only 68. Moreover, there is evidence (adduced below) that not more than a small part of this decline can be attributed to improvements in medical treatment. The fear that there might be a recrudescence of dementia paralytica as a result of the spread of syphilis during the second world war has not so far been realized and it seems likely that what is now, in Great Britain at all events, an obsolescent disease will soon become a rarity. Yet there are many unsolved problems in its history. We do not know, for example, why the alleged references to this striking disease were so few and so inadequate until the third decade of the nineteenth century. We do not know why its recognition in many countries was so tardy in spite of the clear description given by the French alienists. Nor do we know why the disease, which at the start of the nineteenth century seems to have been predominantly one of males, has gradually—and at different rates in different countries—become much more evenly distributed between the sexes.
TL;DR: Progress in the past 30 years in the development of statistical and epidemiological methods in the mental health field has included determinations of need for psychiatric care and supporting personnel; interpretation of morbidity indices, and cross-national comparisons of diagnoses of mental disorders.
Abstract: The paper reviews progress made in the past 30 years in the development of statistical and epidemiological methods in the mental health field. Applications have included determinations of need for psychiatric care and supporting personnel; interpretation of morbidity indices, and cross-national comparisons of diagnoses of mental disorders. Much remains to be done. Progress would include better measurement of incidence, duration, and prevalence of mental disorders; more precise estimates of service needs; more effective programs to prevent or reduce disability. Particularly needed are field-research units under long-term funding with the task of assessing effectiveness of mental health programs at the catchment-area level.