Form, frequency and burden of sleep problems in general health care: A report from the WHO Collaborative Study on Psychological Problems in General Health Care

T. B. Üstün, M. Privett, Y. Lecrubier, E. Weiller, G. Simon, A. Korten, Susan Bassett, W. Maier, N. Sartorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The WHO Collaborative Study on Psychological Problems in General Health Care examined the frequency, form, course and outcome of psychological problems in general health care settings. A total of 25,916 general health care attenders at 15 sites in 14 countries were screened using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Of those screened, 5,438 were assessed in detail using a Primary Health Care version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-PHC) in conjunction with the Brief Disability Questionnaire, the Social Disability Schedules, a self rated overall health status form and the 28-item General Health Questionnaire. The analysis has shown that sleep problems were common at all sites with: 26.8% of all patients having some form of sleep problem and 15% of the patients examined had trouble falling or staying asleep. Of those with sleep problems, 51.5% had a well-defined International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) mental disorder (such as depression, anxiety, somatoform disorders or alcohol problems) and 48.5% of those with sleep problems for at least two weeks or more did not fulfil the criteria for any well defined ICD-10 diagnosis. Persons with sleep problems reported a degree of disability in the performance of their daily activities and social roles even when they had no symptoms of psychological disorders. When such symptoms were present the disability was significantly increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1996



  • Cross-cultural comparisons
  • General health care
  • ICD-10
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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