FHS Seminar Series - The Burden of Disease Model: Limitations and Uses in Psychiatric Epidemiology and Health Systems Planning

by Dr. Daniel Vigo, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU

November 02, 2017

Event Type

Seminar Series


November 02, 2017 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


The burden of disease model represented a meaningful advance in terms of measuring and comparing the impact of disease at the population level. At the time of its public introduction (in a landmark 1993 World Bank document entitled "Investing in Health" followed by number of specialized publications) it single-handedly put mental disorders in every decision-maker's desk, predicting that mental disorders -depression in particular- would top the burden of disease ranking in 2020 in developed countries, and be second globally. The methodology has evolved in response to the scientific community's input but presents important limitations, particularly with respect to mental disorders. I will present a critical appraisal of the current methodology, propose an improvement, and provide examples of its usefulness and applicability for policy making and service planning at many levels, including globally, regionally, country, province, and neighborhood level.


After obtaining a Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in Psychology, an MD, and a Specialization in Psychiatry, Daniel worked in clinical, research, teaching, and leadership positions across sectors (public hospitals, NGOs, and for-profit organizations). He developed the first Assertive Community Treatment Department in Argentina in collaboration with King’s College (UK) and Columbia University (US). He has published several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reports on diverse mental health issues. He obtained his Doctorate at Harvard, where he focused on mental health, specifically burden of disease estimation, service improvement, and health systems assessment. He is an Advisor to PAHO and to the Lancet Commission on NCDs and Injuries for the poorest billion, and a member of the World Mental Health Surveys Initiative (WHO and Harvard Medical School).


* This Seminar Series is open to the SFU Research Community.  

* This seminar was recorded and can be viewed here by the FHS Research Community

*  A light lunch will be available at this seminar.  

* The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.