Prevalence of minor psychiatric disorders in the City of Pelotas, RS

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of minor psychiatric disorders (MPD) in the population of Pelotas, and to determine their association with risk factors. A cross-sectional, population-based survey was conducted, with a cluster sample, defined through multiple stages, of 1,967 adults ranging from 20 to 69 years of age. The questionnaire included several items, such as age, gender, family income, BMI (Body Mass Index), chronic disease report, health service utilization, and alcohol and tobacco consumption; it also included the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20), a valid instrument. Six positive answers for males, and 7 for females, indicated the occurrence of MPD in this test. Among the 1,967 people included, 561 (28.5%) had MPD. Individuals with a low income were twice as likely to acquire minor psychiatric disorders, when compared to those classified in higher social classes. The condition was more frequent in females, with 383 (34.2%) individuals affected. People aged 40, or more, were at higher risk. The association with cigarette smoking, chronic diseases, and frequency of medical visits persisted after calculating logistic regression. The results were similar to those of comparable studies carried out in the city, which demonstrated a high prevalence in lower social classes. MPD are also associated with the frequency of medical visits, showing that these results might be of use in the training of health professionals and in planning health care interventions.

Minor psychiatric disorders; Health services; Social class; Mental health; Cross-sectional study; Epidemiology


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