Introduction: The main objective of this study was to compare the results of mental health surveys on adult populations of all
provinces in Iran, between 1999 and 2015.
Methods: This study was an overview of two cross-sectional, descriptive studies that were performed in 1999 and 2015. The study
population of these two studies consisted of urban and rural residents of all provinces in Iran. Samples were recruited by systematic
random cluster sampling. In both studies, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used to assess mental health status of
respondents. Trained psychologists completed questionnaires, and data were analyzed using SPSS software-18.
Results: The results showed that in the survey of 1999, 21% of participants suffered from mental disorders (25.9% of females and
14.9% of males). In the survey of 2015, 23.4% of samples were suspected of having mental disorders (27.6% of females and 19.3%
of males). The prevalence of mental disorders increased from 1999 to 2014 by about 1.12 fold (1.06 fold in females and 1.3 fold in
males). In the survey of 1999, rural residents were more at risk of mental disorders, while in the survey of 2015, urban residents were
more prone to mental disorders. In both studies, the risk of suspicion for mental disorders increased with increasing age, and was
higher in people aged 65 and above, as well as widowed, divorced and illiterate individuals.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed an increase in suspected cases of mental disorders in Iran from 1999 to 2015. Therefore, it is vital for policymakers and health officials to take action in order to improve and maintain mental health status of thepeople who are at risk in the country.