This article presents prevalence estimates of social anxiety disorder (social phobia) among the Canadian household population aged 15 or older. The relationship between this mental disorder and others is examined. Selected aspects of functional impairment are compared for people with current, past, and no history of the condition.
Data are from the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health and Well-being.
Cross-tabulations were used to estimate the prevalence of social anxiety disorder, to determine socio-economic factors associated with prevalence, and to examine relationships with other mental disorders. Associations between social anxiety disorder and selected impairment variables were examined using multivariate analysis that controlled for socio-economic factors and other aspects of mental and physical health.
In 2002, 750,000 Canadians aged 15 or older (3%) had social anxiety disorder. These people had a higher risk of having major depressive disorder, panic disorder and substance dependency than the general population. Social anxiety disorder was associated with higher rates of disability, negative perceptions of physical and mental health, and dissatisfaction with life.