Epidemiology of psychological distress: a population-based cross-sectional study

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and distribution of psychological distress in an urban adult population. METHODS: A total of 3,942 individuals over 20 years old in the city of Pelotas, Brazil, were studied. Psychological distress was defined using an indicator of well-being, the Faces Scale, and self-perception of nervousness. Chi-square test was performed to assess the association with sociodemographics. RESULTS: Prevalence of psychological distress was 14% when using the Faces Scale and 31.8% through self-perception of nervousness. CONCLUSIONS: Older, poor, and lower education women groups were the ones that showed a higher prevalence of distress.

Stress; Health surveys; Living conditions; Prevalence; Socioeconomic factors; Self concept


Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: revsp@usp.br