The israel survey of mental health among adolescents: Aims and methods

Ivonne Mansbach-Kleinfeld, Daphna Levinson, Ilana Farbstein, Alan Apter, Itzhak Levav, Rasim Kanaaneh, Nechama Stein, Rachel Erhard, Hava Palti, Razek Khwaled, Alexander M. Ponizovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA) aimed to ascertain the prevalence of selected mental disorders and patterns of comorbidity; service utilization and unmet needs; health and sociodemographic covariates; and risk and protective factors. This paper reviews the methods used and discusses the strengths and limitations of the survey. Method: The ISMEHA was a cross-sectional survey that included 957 Israeli adolescents, representative of the adolescent population aged 14-17 years. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, Hebrew version (SDQ-H), the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) inventory, services utilization, health status and sociodemographic questions were administered to adolescents and their mothers at the respondents' homes between January 2004 and March 2005. Results: The overall response rate was 68.2%, and it varied by gender and type of locality. Among boys, 71.3% responded, as compared to 65.2% among girls. The response rate among adolescents living in a Jewish or mixed city was 62.5% as compared to 89.6% among adolescents living in an exclusively Arab-populated city. Conclusions: The ISMEHA allows the creation of a unique and comprehensive database informing on the prevalence, burden, services utilization and unmet needs of adolescents with psychiatric disorders. These data will enable policymakers to more rationally plan services and prevention programs for the target population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-253
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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