Arch Iran Med. 2017;20(11 Suppl. 1):S63-S66.
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Original Article

A Survey on Mental Health Status of Adult Population Aged 15 and above in the Province of Khouzestan, Iran

Ahmad Ali Noorbala 1 * , Seyed Abbas Bagheri Yazdi 2, Soghrat Faghihzadeh 3, Koorosh Kamali 4, Elham Faghihzadeh 5, Ahmad Hajebi 6, Shahin Akhondzadeh 7, Gholam Hossein Noroozinejad 8, Reza DavasazTehrani 9

1 Psychosomatic Medicine Research Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran, Tehran, Iran,
3 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran,
4 Department of Public Health, School of Public Health, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran,
5 Department of Biostatistics, Paramedical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
6 Research Center for Addiction and Risky Behaviors (ReCARB), Psychiatric Department, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
7 Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
8 Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran,
9 Mental Health Expertise of Khouzestan Provincial Health Center, Khouzestan University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.
Corresponding author and reprints: Ahmad Ali Noorbala MD, Head of Psychosomatic Medicine Research Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Keshavarz Blv., Tehran, Iran. Tel: +98-21-61190000, Email:


Introduction: This research aims to determine the mental health status of population aged 15 and over in the province of Khouzestan in 2015.

Methods: The statistical population of this cross-sectional field survey consisted of residents of urban and rural areas of Khouzestan in Iran. An estimated sample size of 1200 people was chosen using systematic random cluster sampling. The access was provided by the contribution of Geographical Post Office of Ahvaz, Imam khomeini Bandar, and Shooshtar cities. The General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) was used as the screening tool for mental disorders. Data analysis in the current study was carried out using the SPSS-18 software.

Results: Using GHQ traditional scoring method, 21.8% of the subjects were shown to be at risk of mental disorders (26.2% of females and 23% of males). Urban areas (27.1%) were more at risk of mental disorders compared with rural residents (16.8%). The prevalence of suspected cases of mental disorders in urban areas (25.4%) was higher than rural areas (13.4 %). Anxiety and somatization symptoms were more frequent than depression and social dysfunction among respondents. The obtained data revealed that the prevalence of mental disorders increased with age. Such disorders were more common in females, age group of 65 and above, people living in rural areas, divorced and widowed, illiterate, housewives and unemployed individuals compared with the other groups.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed that about a fourth of the people in the province were suspected to have mental disorders and the prevalence of these disorders has increased from 21.3% in 1999 to 21.8% in 2015. Therefore, it is mandatory for the provincial public health authorities to take the needed steps to ensure that necessary requirements encompassing prevention and promotion of mental health are implemented.

Cite this article as: Noorbala AA, Bagheri Yazdi SA, Faghihzadeh S, Kamali K, Faghihzadeh E, Hajebi A,   Akhondzadeh S, Noroozinejad GH, Davasaz Tehrani R. A survey on mental health status of adult population aged 15 and above in the province of Khouzestan, Iran. Arch Iran Med. 2017; 20(11 Suppl. 1): S63 – S66. 
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