Psychopathology and the development of disability

A. C. Kouzis, W. W. Eaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective was to determine the effect of preexisting psychopathology on days missed from work or usual activities ('disability days') in a large community sample (N = 3481). Logistic regression analyses were performed with the presence or absence of disability days (wave 2) as the dependent variable. The effects of sociodemographic variables, six psychiatric disorders, a high distress score, and chronic physical conditions (wave 1) were studied. Separate analyses were conducted for the total sample and four subgroups (labor force participants, homemakers, men, and women). The adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for subjects with onset of panic disorder were 7.3 (95% CI = 1.8, 28.7); for those with chronic major depressive disorder, 7.2 (95% CI = 0.3, 160.6); and for those with chronic high distress, 5.0 (95% CI = 2.6, 9.9). The relative odds for developing a disability were greater for those with either type of psychiatric disorder or high distress than for those with any prior physical illness or those with a prior disability day. Disability days experienced by persons with psychopathology result in diminished quality of life, economic losses, and increased need for health services. Improved health services and educational and work adjustments for emotionally disabled persons are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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