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October 1993

An International Study of Psychological Problems in Primary Care: Preliminary Report From the World Health Organization Collaborative Project on 'Psychological Problems in General Health Care'

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Mental Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (Drs Sartorius and Üstün), the Universidade do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) (Dr Costa e Silva), the Institute of Psychiatry, London (United Kingdom) (Dr Goldberg), the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale, Paris, France (Dr Lecrubier), the Academisch Zickenhuis, Groningen (the Netherlands) (Dr Ormel), the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Seattle, Wash (Dr Von Korff), and the Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Munich, Germany (Dr Wittchen).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(10):819-824. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820220075008

This article describes a large longitudinal multicenter collaborative study that investigated the form, frequency, course, and outcome of psychological problems that were seen in primary health care settings in 15 different sites around the world. The research employed a two-stage sampling design in which the 12-item General Health Questionnaire was administered to 26422 persons aged 18 to 65 years who were consulting health care services. Of these persons, 5604 were selected for detailed examinations using standardized instruments and were followed up at 3 months and 1 year to provide information on course and outcome. All assessment instruments have been translated into 13 different languages. The project has produced a database that allows for the exploration of the nature of psychological disorders experienced by patients in general medical care and their association with physical illness, illness behavior, and

disability over time.

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