The article by Spitzer et al1 in this issue of The JOURNAL adds to the growing body of empirical evidence that common mental disorders have a major impact on functional disability and quality of life. Among 1000 adult patients at four primary care sites, mental disorders accounted for considerably more impairment in all the components of health-related quality of life than did common physical disorders. Previous studies have found that psychiatric disorders are common among primary care patients and are a consistent source of disability, even across a variety of different cultures.2 For example, results from the Medical Outcomes Study3 have shown that major depression, a disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 17% in the general population of the United States,4 is associated with limitations in well-being and functioning that are equal to or greater than those of major chronic physical conditions,
See also p 1511.
Glass RM. Mental DisordersQuality of Life and Inequality of Insurance Coverage. JAMA. 1995;274(19):1557. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530190071036