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Common mental disorders and the built environment in Santiago, Chile

ARAYA Ricardo, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 190(5), May 2007, pp.394-401.
Royal College of Psychiatrists

A sample of 3870 adults (response rate 90%) clustered in 248 geographical sectors participated in a household cross-sectional survey in Santiago, Chile. Independently rated contextual measures of the built environment were obtained. The Clinical Interview Schedule was used to estimate the prevalence of common mental disorders. There was a significant association between the quality of the built environment of small geographical sectors and the presence of common mental disorders among its residents. The better the quality of the built environment, the lower the scores for psychiatric symptoms; however, only a small proportion of the variation in common mental disorder existed at sector level, after adjusting for individual factors. Findings from the study, using a contextual assessment of the quality of the built environment and multilevel modelling in the analysis, suggest these associations may be more marked in non-Western settings with more homogeneous geographical sectors.


Mental health services in the global village

APPLEBY Louis, ARAYA Ricardo
Publication year:
Place of publication:

Comparative study of mental health services in 16 countries from both the developed and the developing world. Contains sections on countries from: Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South and Central America.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Population prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Chile: 6-month and 1-month rates

VINCENTE Benjamin, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 184(4), April 2004, pp.299-305.
Royal College of Psychiatrists

The Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to a stratified random sample of 2978 individuals from four provinces representative of the country’s population. Six-month and 1-month prevalence rates were estimated. Demographic correlates, comorbidity and service use were examined. Nearly a fifth of the Chilean population had had a psychiatric disorder during the preceding 6 months. The 6-month and 1-month prevalence rates were 19.7% and 16.7% respectively. For the 6-month prevalence the five most common disorders were simple phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, major depressive disorder and alcohol dependence. Less than 30% of those with any psychiatric diagnosis had a comorbid psychiatric disorder and the majority of them had sought treatment from mental health services. Current prevalence studies are useful indicators of service needs. People with comorbid psychiatric conditions have high rates of service use. The low rate of comorbidity in Chile merits further study.

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