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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450

Abstract

CASTRO-CAMACHO, Leonidas et al. Mental Health in the General Hospital: Results of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) in Four Hospital Services. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.1, pp.61-85. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Few individuals have access to mental health services due in part to under-detection. As it is more likely to consult for medical conditions, primary care may be a useful gateway for early detection of mental health problems. Objective: Detection of the frequency of mental health problems in four hospital services at the Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá: Outpatient unit, hospitalization, emergency department, and primary care through a brief detection questionnaire, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). Method: Cross-sectional study of patients seen at the four services who answered a Demographic Data Questionnaire and the PHQ together with information gathered about current medical diagnosis, history of visits, and hospitalizations during the last year. Results: 1094 patients seen at the four hospital services between September 2010 and May 2011 were selected at random. A mental health problem was detected in 36.7% of the total sample. Major depressive disorder (7.3%), alcohol abuse (14.4%), and any anxiety disorder (7.7%) showed the highest prevalence with the emergency department showing the highest frequency of detection. Conclusions: The usefulness of a brief detection questionnaire such as the PHQ in hospital settings is demonstrated and implications in the design of mental health programs in the general hospital are discussed. The need to replicate this study in other settings and to undertake further research is outlined.

Keywords : Primary care; mental health; detection.

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