Publication date: August 2019
Source: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Volume 66
Author(s): Sherilyn Chang, Edimansyah Abdin, Saleha Shafie, Rajeswari Sambasivam, Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar, Stefan Ma, Siow Ann Chong, Mythily Subramaniam
The aim of this paper is to report findings on the epidemiology of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) using data from the Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) 2016, and draw comparisons with results from the first SMHS in 2010. Singapore residents aged 18 years and above participated in the household survey where the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview 3.0 was administered to assess the prevalence of GAD and other mental health conditions. The findings revealed that the lifetime prevalence of GAD was 1.6% among the Singapore general population in 2016, an increase from the 0.9% in 2010. More lifetime GAD cases were reported across several sociodemographic groups including age and employment status. Lifetime GAD was significantly associated with higher odds of several comorbid psychiatric conditions (OR = 3.8–9.3, p < 0.05). Treatment seeking behavior did not differ significantly when compared to SMHS 2010 and there was still a considerable treatment gap among individuals with GAD. Future intervention programs to reduce anxiety and encourage help-seeking behavior could be implemented at institutes of higher learning and workplace settings to reach the targeted audience.