Chapter

Cultural issues in measurement and research

Vikram Patel

in Practical Psychiatric Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780198515517
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780198515517.003.0003
Cultural issues in measurement and research

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The study of the epidemiology of mental disorders and their treatments in different cultures and health systems provides an important opportunity for unravelling aetiological factors underlying mental disorders and for discovering new effective treatments. There is a large body of work which serves to guide future research in different cultural settings. This evidence shows that although symptoms of mental disorders can be elicited in most cultures, taxonomies may differ considerably. Instruments developed in one culture may be used in other cultures, but great emphasis needs to be placed on their translation to ensure conceptual validity. Study designs need to incorporate a range of health system variables to ensure the findings are relevant to local health policy. A variety of research methodologies have been used to achieve these goals. Research must be planned in collaboration with potential users and a range of dissemination strategies should be considered. These principles form the basis for the growth of a truly international psychiatric epidemiology.

Chapter.  8372 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Epidemiology

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