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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health



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HOME > Epidemiol Health > Volume 5(1); 1983 > Article
Original Article A literature review study on mental disorders in Korea
Soon Ja Cho, Joung Soon Kim
Epidemiol Health 1983;5(1):118-139
DOI: https://doi.org/
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The purpose of this literature review study was carried out to identify epidemiological characteristics of mental disorders occurring frequently among Koreans. It was intended mainly to deal with the prevalence of mental disorders, particularly schizophrenia, manic-depressive reaction, epilepsy, general paresis and a few other cases during the period from 1960 to 1979. In this literature review, all available paper and articles published were carefully reviewed. As a result, some salient features were found as the followings: 1. In 1960’s, the average prevalence of mental disorders was 4.2 persons per 1,000 inhabitants, whereas the average prevalence was 4.9 persons per 1,000 inhabitants in 1970’s. With regard to the prevalence of mental disorder by sexes, the prevalence rate of all mental disorders in male was much higher than the female except the case of schizophrenia, of which prevalence rate was higher than that of male throughout 1960's. On the other hand the prevalence rate in 1970’s was higher for males in all mental disorders for all ages. The modal age of onset of mental disorders was much younger than the modal age at the time of survey. Throughout 1960's and 1970’s, as many as 392 persons out of all the 515 schizophrenic suffered from the disease longer than 4 years. On the other hand, as many as 814 patients comprising 77.7% out of all the 1,047 mental disease patients suffered longer than 4 years from the conditions. The prevalence of mental disorders by educational level showed the tendency that the prevalence rate increased as the educational level became higher. With regard to the area characteristics the average prevalence rate of all mental disorders was 4.1 persons per 1,000 inhabitants in islands and 4.8 persons in the rural areas of the mainloud. The prevalence rate by religion was 5.7 persons per 1,000 persons for Buddhists, and 18.3 persons per 1,000 persons for both Catholic and Protestants. The result showed that the prevalence rate in the people with religion were as high as 8 times than those without religions. 2. Some characteristics of the patients on numerator analysis obstained from the literature were as followings: As many as 167 persons out of the 354 patients were found to have the pre-morbid personality. Almost all of the cases of schizophrenic comprising 55.0%, manic-depressive reaction patients comprising 79.6%, epilepsy patients comprising 38.8% had the tendency of having premorbid personality. With regard to the body-type of the patients, nearly 48.3% out of all the schizophrenics had asthentic types whereas others had diverse body-type unabling to characterize. About one third of the patients had family history of mental disorders. With regard to the marital status, 34.6% of the patients had been leading normal marital life and 46.1% out of all the patients had not been married, while the beleaved and separated patients comprised 10.7%. On the treatment status, 105 persons out of 203 patients never been treated. Only 33 patients(13.6%) made use of various medical facilities, while 38 persons (15.6%) made use of drug stores for medication. Those who relied on herb medicine were 56 patients(23.0%). Only 38 patients(7.1%) had been treated by psychiatric doctors. The frequency of treatement per patient treated was 1.6 times (Kumgu country only). 3. In addition to the community studies, following information was obtained from hospital statistics, SNU hospital and Yonsei University hospital. The proportion of neuropsychiatric patients hospitalized in SNU hospital out of all the inpatients comprised 9.5% during the period from 1964 to 1965, while in the case of outpatients the proportion decreased gradually from the highest 4.5% in 1970~1971 to the lowest 2.2% in 1980. The proportion of patients suffering from schizophrenia was 49.0% in 1968 and 1970, which was 38.8% in 1974. The proportion of those suffering from neurosis showed gradual increase from 16.1% in 1968 to 27.3% in 1971. Likewise the proportion of those suffering from manic-depressive reaction also increased from 3.2% in 1970 to 10.1% in 1975.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health