Psychiatric morbidity among sentenced prisoners: prevalence study in Iran.
Assadi SM., Noroozian M., Pakravannejad M., Yahyazadeh O., Aghayan S., Shariat SV., Fazel S.
BACKGROUND: Information on psychiatric morbidity of prisoners has almost entirely been based on research in Western countries and it is uncertain whether these research findings are applicable to other settings. AIMS: The primary objective was to investigate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Iranian prisoners. METHOD: Through stratified random sampling, 351 prisoners were interviewed using the clinical version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders and the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version. RESULTS: The majority (88%) of prisoners met DSM-IV criteria for lifetime diagnosis of at least one Axis I disorder and 57% were diagnosed with current Axis I disorders. Opioid dependence (73%) had the highest prevalence among lifetime diagnoses, whereas major depressive disorder (29%) was the most common current diagnosis. Psychopathy was recorded in 23%. Prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders were significantly different among offence categories. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that a substantial burden of psychiatric morbidity exists in the prison population of Iran, with treatment challenges that appear to be different from those observed in inmates in Western countries.