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Revista médica de Chile

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VICENTE, BENJAMÍN et al. Prevalence of mental health disorders among children and adolescents living in southern Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.8, pp.965-973. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The knowledge about prevalence of psychiatric disorders in all age groups is fundamental to plan an adequate mental health care. Aim: To determine the prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in a representative sample of children and adolescents living in the province of Cautin, Chile. Material and Methods: Subjects aged between 4 and 18 years were selected in an aleatory stratified multistage fashion. As part of a national sample, four counties in Cautín were selected, then blocks, homes and the child or adolescent to be interviewed. Psychology graduate students applied the Spanish computer version of DISC-IV, as well as a questionnaire on family risk factors, socioeconomic index and service use. Results: A sample of 272 children and adolescents was evaluated, obtaining 93,4% of participation. Using the most stringent impairment algorithm, the prevalence rate for any psychiatric disorder was 16.8%, being 16.5% in boys and 17.1% in girls and mainly explained by anxiety and affective disorders. Prevalence was practically the same in the group aged 4 to 11 years than in those aged 12 to 18 years (16.7% and 16.8% respectively). Prevalence of anxiety disorders was the highest, but less associated with impairment. On the other hand, all children and adolescents with affective disorders were impaired. Conclusions: The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Cautín is high in children and adolescents.

Keywords : Adolescent; Child, preschool; Mental health; Mental disorders.

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