Delay in initial treatment contact after first onset of mental disorders in metropolitan China

S. Lee, S. C. Fung, A. Tsang, M. Y. Zhang, Y. Q. Huang, Y. L. He, Z. R. Liu, Y. C. Shen, R. C. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: There has been no community-based research on treatment delay among people with mental disorders in China. This study examines lifetime treatment and treatment delay in metropolitan China. Method: A multi-stage probability survey of 5201 respondents was administered in Beijing and Shanghai. Age of first treatment contact after onset of each of the three lifetime DSM-IV/CIDI disorder classes was compared with retrospective information on age of disorder onset. Length and predictors of treatment delay were examined using survival analysis. Results: Survival curves estimate that 44.7%, 25.7%, and 7.9% of people with anxiety, substance, and mood disorders, respectively, will ever make treatment contact. Delays in first treatment contact of anxiety (21 years) and substance (17 years) disorders are longer than that of mood disorders (1 year). These delays are largely unrelated to sociodemographic variables. Conclusion: Failure to receive treatment is a pervasive phenomenon among people with mental disorders in metropolitan China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Mental disorders
  • People's Republic of China
  • Treatment
  • World Health Organization


Dive into the research topics of 'Delay in initial treatment contact after first onset of mental disorders in metropolitan China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this