• Studies on child and adolescent mental health in Iceland [PhD Thesis]

      Helga Hannesdóttir (Turku : Turun Yliopiston, 2002)
      Epidemiology investigates the distribution of disease / physiological function in human populations and related factors (Lilienfeld 1976). The field of child psychiatric epidemiology has existed for over 42 years but for many years lacked generally accepted definitions of the various child disorders needed for epidemiological studies. Child psychiatric epidemiologic studies create a framework for the development of academic standards, the facilitation of research and monitoring of training. This information is important in order to be able to plan a national mental health program for children in Iceland and to increase the interest of the academic medical community in child and adolescent psychiatry. The first study in Iceland on the epidemiology of child mental health was undertaken in Reykjavík (Björnsson, 1974). The results of that study showed that the percentage of severely mentally disordered children ranged from 11.8%-30.8%, depending on their syndromes. No significant gender effects were found. Iceland is a Nordic country with a child population ages 0-18 of 82.188 (December 2000). This collection of papers has been compiled at a time of accelerating change for those working in the field of child mental health. No earlier studies on the prevalence of child psychiatric symptoms in the general population of the whole country has been carried out before. There has been little research in child and adolescent psychiatry and communication has mainly been within and between teams rather than with similarly trained colleagues. The taxonomy and methods of assessment have improved dramatically in the past decade (1990-2000) thus providing a possibility to study the prevalence of child and adolescent psychiatric symptoms in a valid and reliable way.