Brazilian multicentric study of psychiatric morbidity - Methodological features and prevalence estimates
Mari, J. D.
Franca, J. F.
Andreoli, S. B.
Busnello, E. D.
Is part ofBritish Journal of Psychiatry
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Background Psychiatric morbidity studies in developing countries have used diagnostic procedures of tow reliability, without a clinical definition of caseness, producing descriptive data with limited application for mental health planning.Method A two-stage cross-sectional design (with a sample size of 6476) was conducted to estimate the prevalence of DSM-III psychiatric diagnoses in three metropolitan areas of Brazil (Brasilia, São Paulo and Porto Alegre), All subjects were screened for the presence of psychopathology with a 44-item instrument (the QMPA) and a subsample was selected for a psychiatric interview.Results Age-adjusted prevalence of cases potentially in need of care ranged from 19% (São Paulo) to 34% (Brasilia and Porto Alegre). Anxiety disorders comprised the highest prevalences (up to 18%). Alcoholism yielded the most consistent prevalence levels, around 8% in all sites. Depression showed great variation between areas: from less than 3% (São Paulo and Brasilia) to 10% (Porto Alegre).Conclusions Overall prevalences were high in comparison with previous studies conducted in Brazil. A female excess of non-psychotic disorders (anxiety, phobias, somatisation and depression) and a male excess for alcoholism were consistently found.
CitationBritish Journal of Psychiatry. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists, v. 171, p. 524-529, 1997.
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