Translational Biomedicine

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Mental Health Disorders in General Practice in France: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Gladys Ibanez, Saphanie Son, Julie Chastang, Anne-Marie Magnier, Sarah Robert, Alain Mercier and Laurent Letrilliart

Background: Mental health disorders constitute a large and growing disease burden in Europe. Almost all patients with mental health disorders consulted their general practitioner in a single year. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and the socio-demographic factors associated with the mental health disorders encountered in general medicine in France.
Method: The study participants were selected from the French national cross-sectional multi-centric ECOGEN study. The study was carried out with all of the patients who consulted with their general practitioner either at their medical practice or as a home visit in 128 medical centers, affiliated with 27 university general medicine departments. Data were collected from 28 November 2011 to 29 April 2012, based on the second version of International Classification of Primary Care. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using logistic regression analyses.
Results: 20 613 patients were included in the study. The frequency of mental health disorders was 17.6% [CI 95% 17.1-18.1]. The main disorders were depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and substance abuse disorders. With children, the frequency of mental disorders was 0.2%. The most common disorder was in regard to "specific learning problems". Socio-demographic and medical factors were for the most part strongly associated with the presence of mental health disorders but in different ways.
Conclusion: Mental health disorders are among the most common reasons for consultations in general practice.Efforts are needed to increase mental health evaluation in a bio-psycho-social approach.