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Psychiatric morbidity and quality of life of primary care attenders in two cities in Brazil

Sofrimento psíquico e qualidade de vida em pacientes da atenção primária de duas cidades do Brasil

Flávia Batista Portugal Mônica Rodrigues Campos Daniel Almeida Gonçalves Jair de Jesus Mari Linda Gask Peter Bower Christopher Dowrick Sandra Fortes About the authors


To identify the associations among quality of life (QoL), social determinants and psychological distress in primary care in two cities in Brazil.


A cross-sectional study with 1,466 patients from 2009 to 2010. The statistical analysis used the t-test to compare the variables of interest to the study.


The prevalence of Common Mental Disorders (CMD3), severe forms of Common Mental Disorders (CMD5), anxiety and depression were 20.5%, 32%, 37% and 25.1% respectively. Thes presence of psychological distress is associated with worse QoL among the patients studied, especially those older than 40 years of age. In cases of CMD3, those with higher income and educational levels presented higher QoL in the psychical and psychological domains. For the cases of probable anxiety, those with higher educational levels presented lower scores on the physical and social relationship scores.


Psychological distress can be associated with a worse QoL among those studied and can be influenced by socioeconomic conditions. Therefore, it is important to structure patient-centered help, which should also include patients’ social contexts.

Mental health; primary health care; quality of life; mental disorders; socioeconomic factors

Instituto de Psiquiatria da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Av. Venceslau Brás, 71 Fundos, 22295-140 Rio de Janeiro - RJ Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 3873-5510 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil