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BJPsych Open. 2018 Jun 22;4(4):192-198. doi: 10.1192/bjo.2018.28. eCollection 2018 Jul.

Common mental disorders and risk factors in rural India: baseline data from the SMART mental health project.

Author information

1
Research Assistant, George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi, India.
2
Research Fellow, George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi, India.
3
Lead Biostatistician, George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi, India.
4
Chief Scientist, George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia and Professor of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
5
Deputy Director and Head of Research, George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi, India, and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Senior Research Associate, George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Abstract

Background:

About 10% Indians suffer from stress, depression or substance use disorders. Few receive care for these problems, especially in rural areas.

Aims:

As part of a broader initiative to deliver technology-enabled mental health services for rural communities (adults ≥18 years), information was collected about the prevalence of depression, anxiety and suicide risk.

Method:

The study was conducted in 12 villages in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Depression and anxiety were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, respectively. Additionally, data were collected about sociodemographic factors and stressful events, among others.

Results:

Anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation affected 10.8, 14.4 and 3.5% of participants, respectively (N = 22 377). These were more common among women, and among those who were aged 30-59 years, uneducated, or divorced/ separated/ widowed. Stress due to financial loss was significant.

Conclusions:

The study identified a significant number of people at risk of depression, anxiety and suicide, and needing care.

Declaration of interest:

None.

KEYWORDS:

India; Mental health services; common mental disorders; epidemiology; low- and middle-income countries; mental health intervention; rural communities

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