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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2015 Mar;50(3):429-43. doi: 10.1007/s00127-014-0962-5. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Common mental disorders in primary health care: differences between Latin American-born and Spanish-born residents in Madrid, Spain.

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Gerencia Adjunta de Planificación y Calidad, Atención Primaria, Servicio Madrileño de Salud, Madrid, Spain,



Our main objective was to estimate and compare the prevalence of the most common mental disorders between Latin American-born and Spanish-born patients in Madrid, Spain. We also analyzed sociodemographic factors associated with these disorders and the role of the length of residency for Latin American-born patients.


We performed a cross-sectional study to compare Latin American-born (n = 691) and Spanish-born outpatients (n = 903) from 15 primary health care centers in Madrid, Spain. The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders was used to diagnose common mental disorders. Sociodemographic, psychosocial, and migration data were collected.


We detected common mental disorders in 49.9 % (95 % CI = 47.4-52.3 %) of the total sample. Values were higher in Latin American-born patients than in Spanish-born patients for any disorder (57.8 % vs. 43.9 %, p < 0.001), mood disorders (40.1 % vs. 34.8 %, p = 0.030), anxiety disorders (20.5 % vs. 15.3 %, p = 0.006), and somatoform disorders (18.1 % vs. 6.6 %, p < 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in prevalence between Latin American-born patients with less than 5 years of residency and Latin American-born residents with 5 or more years of residency. Finally, multivariate analysis shows that gender, having/not having children, monthly income, geographic origin, and social support were significantly associated with several disorders.


The sample was neither population-based nor representative of the general immigrant or autochthonous populations.


The study provides further evidence of the high prevalence of common mental disorders in Latin American-born patients in Spain compared with Spanish-born patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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