Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 201–210 | Cite as

Prevalence of mental disorders in primary care: results from the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in primary care study (DASMAP)

  • Antoni Serrano-BlancoEmail author
  • Diego J. Palao
  • Juan V. Luciano
  • Alejandra Pinto-Meza
  • Leila Luján
  • Ana Fernández
  • Pere Roura
  • Jordan Bertsch
  • Mercè Mercader
  • Josep M. Haro
Original Paper



Previous epidemiological studies have revealed a high prevalence of mental disorders among primary care (PC) patients. However, most studies have methodological limitations (e.g. absence of structured clinical interviews, two-phase designs) that affect the generalizability of their results. The main objective of the present study was to estimate the lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders in the PC of Catalonia (Spain), using structured clinical interviews and a one-phase design.


One-phase cross-sectional survey. A representative probability sample without replacement of individuals aged 18 years or older attending PC for a medical visit were interviewed between October 2005 and March 2006. The interviews included SCID-I for depressive and anxiety disorders and the MINI interview for other mental disorders. A total of 3,815 patients from 77 PC centres were included in the statistical analyses.


45.1% of respondents reported at least one lifetime mental disorder and 30.2% reported at least one mental disorder in the previous 12 months. The most common mental disorders were major depression (9.6%), panic disorder (7.0%), specific phobia (6.6%), and generalized anxiety disorder (3.8%). There was a high comorbidity between mood and anxiety disorders, as well as between mental disorders and some chronic physical conditions.


There is a high prevalence and comorbidity of mental disorders in the PC of Catalonia. Public health policies should reinforce the role of family physicians in the detection and treatment of persons with mental disorders.


Primary care Epidemiology Mental disorders Depressive disorders Comorbidity 



We are indebted to the family physicians and patients who participated in this study. We are also very grateful to Ms. Cristina Molina, from the “Departament de Salut-Generalitat de Catalunya”, who conceived the DASMAP study. Support: Study funded by the “Direcció General de Planificació i Avaluació Sanitària-Departament de Salut-Generalitat de Catalunya” (Barcelona, Spain). AF and JVL are grateful to the “Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo, Instituto de Salud Carlos III” (Red RD06/0018/0017) for a predoctoral and a postdoctoral contract, respectively.

Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoni Serrano-Blanco
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diego J. Palao
    • 2
  • Juan V. Luciano
    • 1
  • Alejandra Pinto-Meza
    • 1
  • Leila Luján
    • 1
  • Ana Fernández
    • 1
  • Pere Roura
    • 3
  • Jordan Bertsch
    • 4
  • Mercè Mercader
    • 5
  • Josep M. Haro
    • 6
  1. 1.Research and Development UnitSant Joan de Déu - Serveis de Salut Mental, Red de Investigación en Actividades Preventivas y Promoción de la Salud en Atención Primaria (RedIAPP)Sant Boi de LlobregatSpain
  2. 2.Servei de PsiquiatriaCorporació Sanitaria Parc TaulíSabadellSpain
  3. 3.Servei d’Epidemiologia Clínica, Hospital General de VicFundació d’Osona per la Recerca i els Estudis Sanitaris (FORES)VicSpain
  4. 4.Sant Joan de Déu - Serveis de Salut MentalFundació Sant Joan de DéuSant Boi de LlobregatSpain
  5. 5.Direcció General de Planificació i Avaluació SanitàriaDepartament de SalutGeneralitat de CatalunyaSpain
  6. 6.Sant Joan de Déu - Serveis de Salut Mental, Fundació Sant Joan de DéuCIBERSAM (Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Salud Mental)Sant Boi de LlobregatSpain

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