Prevalence of Social Phobia: A Review

ÇAKIN MEMİK N. , Yildiz O., TURAL Ü. , Agaoglu B.

NOROPSIKIYATRI ARSIVI-ARCHIVES OF NEUROPSYCHIATRY, vol.48, no.1, pp.4-10, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/npa.y5649
  • Page Numbers: pp.4-10


Social phobia has been considered as a major public health problem in recent years. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to prevalence of social phobia and to emphasize the paucity in diagnosis of social phobia in daily practice in comparison to expected community prevalence. By using PUBMED and Medline Centrale search engines, community based prevalence studies of social phobia over the decade (1999-2009) were evaluated. Twenty-two research articles studied the community prevalence of social phobia were evaluated. Lifetime prevalence of social phobia is diverse across the nations within a range of 0.4-13.7% as well as twelve months prevalence 1.3-7.9%. When it was evaluated as age it was seen that the prevalence rates under and over sixteen years old were 1.6% and 0.4-17%. It was clearly seen that the prevalence rates were higher in women than men across the studies. It was an important finding that social phobia prevalence has been exhibiting prominent discrepancy between different cultures. This discrepancy may be originated from the methodological differences between studies or it suggests that diagnostic criteria of social phobia do not work in different cultures. In addition, it should be kept in mind that the difference in the measurement tools, the time period when the prevalence was measured, and the age in each research should lead to this result. Social phobia is a common and known as one of a major public health problem. Because of it causes social, vocational and economic problems in individual and social level, it is so clear that number of studies about social phobia should be increased. (Archives of Neuropsychiatry 2011; 48: 4-10)