Prevalence of common mental disorders in general practice attendees across Europe

Michael King*, Irwin Nazareth, Gus Levy, Carl Walker, Richard Morris, Scott Weich, Juan Angel Bellon-Saameno, Berta Moreno, Igor Svab, Danica Rotar, J. Rifel, Heidi-Ingrid Maaroos, Anu Aluoja, Ruth Kalda, Jan Neeleman, Mirjam I. Geerlings, Miguel Xavier, Manuel Caldas de Almeida, Bernardo Correa, Francisco Torres-Gonzalez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

There is evidence that the prevalence of common mental disorders varies across Europe.

Aims

To compare prevalence of common mental disorders in general practice attendees in six European countries.

Method

Unselected attendees to general practices in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Estonia and The Netherlands were assessed for major depression, panic syndrome and other anxiety syndrome. Prevalence of DSM-lV major depression, other anxiety syndrome and panic syndrome was compared between the UK and other countries after taking account of differences in demographic factors and practice consultation rates.

Results Prevalence was estimated in 2344 men and 4865 women. The highest prevalence for all disorders occurred in the UK and Spain, and lowest in Slovenia and The Netherlands. Men aged 30-50 and women aged 18-30 had the highest prevalence of major depression; men aged 40-60 had the highest prevalence of anxiety, and men and women aged 40-50 had the highest prevalence of panic syndrome. Demographic factors accounted for the variance between the UK and Spain but otherwise had little impact on the significance of observed country differences.

Conclusions

These results add to the evidence for real differences between European countries in prevalence of psychological disorders and show that the burden of care on general practitioners varies markedly between countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume192
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • PRIMARY-CARE
  • MAJOR DEPRESSION
  • ANXIETY DISORDER
  • SEX-DIFFERENCES
  • POPULATION
  • MORBIDITY
  • COMMUNITY
  • SOCIETY
  • HEALTH

Cite this