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The NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program:  Historical Context, Major Objectives, and Study Population Characteristics

Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH; Jerome K. Myers, PhD; Morton Kramer, ScD; Lee N. Robins, PhD; Dan G. Blazer, MD, PhD; Richard L. Hough, PhD; William W. Eaton, PhD; Ben Z. Locke, MSPH
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(10):934-941. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790210016003.
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• The National Institute of Mental Health multisite Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) program is described in the context of four previous psychiatric epidemiologic surveys that Included a combined total of 4,000 subjects from Stirling County, the Baltimore Morbidity Study, Midtown Manhattan, and the New Haven third-wave survey. The ECA program is distinguished by its sample size of at least 3,500 subjects per site (about 20,000 total); the focus on Diagnostic interview Schedule-defined DSM-III mental disorders; the one-year reinterview-based longitudinal design to obtain incidence and service use data; the linkage of epidemiologic and health service use data; and the replication of design and method in multiple sites. Demographic characteristics of community and sample populations are provided for New Haven, Conn, Baltimore, and St Louis.

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