INTRODUCTION: This systematic review of literature aims to verify prevalence rates of mental disorders in the Brazilian adult population. METHODS: We searched the Medline and Lilacs in the period from 1997 to 2009 using the following descriptors: "mental disorders", "cross-section studies", "Brazil". Exclusion criteria of articles were: no abstract, no description of cross-sectional study, did not contain the estimate that would verify the prevalence of mental disorders, studies with specific populations and further studies with children, adolescents and elderly, and written in other languages other than Portuguese, English and Spanish. These criteria resulted in the selection of 25 articles. RESULTS: In the studies reviewed found high rates of overall prevalence of mental disorders in adults. These rates varied between 20% and 56%, affecting mainly women and workers. DISCUSSION: The studies analyzed in this review show an overview of mental disorders in Brazilian adult population, describing how is their distribution in this population, pointing to high rates, often associated with sex, age, socioeconomic, work conditions and lifestyles of individuals.
Epidemiology; cross-sectional studies; mental disorders; Brazil