Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Psychiatry Med. 2004;34(4):331-43.

Detection and management of depressive disorders in primary care in Spain.

Author information

Constanti Primary Care Centre, Catalan Health Institute, Terragona, Spain.



Many patients with depression who attend primary care are not detected and are unaware of the benefits of therapeutic intervention. Our aim is to evaluate the recognition and management of depressed patients presenting in primary care in Spain.


This was a two-phase cross-sectional study in primary care centers in Tarragona (Spain). In the first phase, we screened 906 consecutive patients using the Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale. In the second phase, all 209 patients whose results were positive and 97 patients whose results were negative (1/7 at random) were given the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders, a series of questionnaires, and the judgment of the physician about the presence of depression was determined. In the 120 patients with major depression and/or dysthymia, predictors of detection and treatment of depression were determined.


Seventy-two percent of depressed patients were detected. The detection was associated with educational level, severity of the depression, level of impairment, and the complaint of explicit psychological symptoms. Thirty-four percent were receiving treatment with antidepressants. Antidepressant treatment was associated with marital status, severity of and impairment from the depression, frequency of visits to the family physician, and the patients' complaint of psychological symptoms.


Many depressed patients are not detected, but these are often the patients who present with the mildest forms of depression and for whom the benefits of detection are far from clear. Although treatment was associated with the severity of depression, most depressed patients, at any level of seriousness, do not receive appropriate treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center