Cluster analysis of psychiatric profile, its correlates, and using mental health services among the young people aged 15-34: findings from the first phase of Iranian youth cohort in Ravansar


Purposes: (1) Cluster analysis of psychiatric disorders and partitioning the youth; (2) determining socio-demographic correlates and parental histories for each one of the clusters; and (3) comparing clusters based on the extent and type of using psychotherapeutic services.

Methods: The current cross-sectional study is a part of the first phase of PERSIAN Youth Cohort. The sample of the study includes 2991 participants aged 15-34 (27 ± 5.1 years, 55.6% female) from Ravansar district in western Iran. Enrollment and data collection for this phase were performed from October, 2014 to January, 2017. The data were collected through structured interviews, including the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI; version 2.1), mental health-related Sheehan Disability Scale, and Service Use Questionnaire. The obtained data were analyzed using two-step cluster analysis, multinomial logistic regression, and Chi-square test.

Results: Our model proposed three clusters: a clinical cluster with significant mental disability; a healthy cluster with significant disability; and a healthy cluster with mild disability. There is a direct relationship between widow/divorced marital status and psychiatric maternal history with the clinical cluster (P < 0.05). Clinical and non-clinical clusters with medium to severe disability used services for mental health more often that the healthy cluster with mild functional disability (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The results of the study show that 28.7% of the youth in the general population of western Iran are suffering from psychiatric disorders and nearly two-thirds of the total population reported a medium-severe functional disability. Considering the wide range of mental disorders and the functional disability levels created by these disorders, cluster analysis could provide invaluable information regarding the partitioning of the youth population.

Keywords: Cluster analyzes; Disability; Health family history; Mental disorders; Public health service.