To compare the 12-month prevalence of common mental disorders among francophones in Canada, France, and Belgium. This is the first article in a 2-part series comparing mental disorders and service use prevalence of French-speaking populations.
This is a secondary analysis of data from the Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health and Well-Being (CCHS 1.2) in 2002 and the European Study of Epidemiology of Mental Disorders-Mental Health Disability (ESEMeD) from 2001 to 2003, where comparable questionnaires were administered to representative samples of adults in Canada, France, and Belgium. In Canada, francophone respondents living in Quebec (n = 7571) and outside Quebec (n = 500) completed the French version of the CCHS 1.2 questionnaire. Francophone respondents in Belgium (n = 389) and in France (n = 1436) completed the French version of the ESEMeD population survey questionnaire. Major depressive episodes (MDEs), specific anxiety disorders (ADs), and alcohol abuse and (or) dependence disorders' rates were assessed.
The overall prevalence rate for the presence of any MDE, AD, or alcohol abuse and (or) dependence was similar in all francophone populations studied in Canada and Europe and averaged 8.5%.
Mental disorders were equally distributed in all francophone populations studied. Cross-national comparisons continue to be instrumental in providing information useful for the creation of appropriate policies and programs for specific subsets of populations.