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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


MARTINEZ, Pablo et al. Comorbidity in people with depression seeking help at primary health care centers in Santiago, Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2017, vol.145, n.1, pp.25-32. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: International evidence has shown the complex interaction between depression and chronic physical diseases. Depression in scenarios involving multiple comorbidities has not received enough attention in Chile. Aim: To characterize the depressed people who consult at Primary Health Care Centers (PHCCs), taking into account the presence of chronic physical or psychiatric comorbidity. Materials and Methods: A secondary analysis of databases used in a clinical trial. Two hundred fifty six adults seeking professional help were recruited in four PHCCs located in the Metropolitan Region. These people had a major depressive episode, identified with a structured psychiatric interview (MINI), and gave their informed consent to participate. Socio-demographic information was collected, depressive symptomatology was measured with the patient health questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), psychiatric morbidity was assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), and chronic physical diseases were self-reported by the patients. Descriptive analyses of all the variables were conducted. Results: Seventy percent of patients had a history of depression, with a median of two prior depressive episodes. Depressive symptoms were mostly considered as moderate to severe and severe and 31% of the patients had high suicide risk. Seventy eight percent displayed a physical or psychiatric comorbidity. Of these patients, 29% only had a chronic physical comorbidity, while 46% suffered from an additional psychiatric disorder. Conclusions: Depressed individuals who seek help at PHCCs constitute an especially complex population that must be treated taking into account multiple comorbidities.

Keywords : Chronic Disease; Comorbidity; Depression; Depressive Disorder; Primary Health Care.

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