Introduction: This research aims to determine the mental
health status of population aged 15 and over in the province of South Khorasan in 2015.
Methods: The statistical population of this
cross-sectional field survey consisted of residents of urban and rural areas of
South Khorasan in Iran. Through systematic random cluster sampling, 1200
individuals were selected from the residents of urban and rural areas of
Birjand, Ghayen and Ferdows cities. The 28-item version of the General Health
Questionnaire was applied as the screening tool. The data were analyzed using
SPSS, version 18.0 for windows.
Results: Based on GHQ traditional scoring
method, this study showed that 17.1% of the respondents (20% of women and 14.1%
of men) were suspected of having mental disorders. The prevalence of suspected
individuals for mental disorders was higher in urban areas (18.2%) than rural
areas (14.5%). It was also shown that the prevalence of anxiety and
somatization symptoms was higher than social dysfunction and depression
symptoms, and women revealed higher prevalence for these disorders compared
with men. The findings of this study also indicated that the prevalence of
suspected cases for mental disorders increased with age. The prevalence of
suspected cases of these disorders was higher in women aged 65 and over,
divorced, widowed, uneducated and the retired compared to the other groups.
Conclusion: The results of this study show that one sixth of
the sample population were suspected of mental disorders; therefore, health
authorities and administrators need to take the principled measures to ensure
and maintain the mental health of individuals as well as the evaluation and
treatment of patients with mental disorders.