Characteristics of Depressed Patients Treated in Rural Areas of Chile


Objective: To describe a group of depressed patients that participated in a clinical intervention to improve depression treatment in rural areas. Materials and Methods: It is a clinical intervention for depressed patients from 15 rural hospitals. The principal outcome is depressive symptomatology measured with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the secondary outcome is quality of life. The intervention consists of a collaborative program between primary care teams and specialized teams, with support from an electronic platform and a call center. Results: 254 subjects—13.8% men and 86.2% women—were recruited, with an age range between 18 and 65 years. The majority had a stable partner and attended high school. Homemakers made up 47.4% of the sample, and 38.7% were employed. The average BDI score was 29.8 (s. d. = 9.2). There was a history of previous depressive episodes in 42.9% of the cases, 37.4% presented severe suicide risk, and 59.1% had a comorbid anxiety disorder. Conclusion: It is a clinical sample of patients with severe depressive symptoms who are treated by primary care physicians in rural zones. The sample had comorbid anxiety and poor quality of life associated with their mental illness.

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Castro-Lara, A. , Guajardo, V. , Fritsch, R. , Alvarado, R. & Rojas, G. (2013). Characteristics of Depressed Patients Treated in Rural Areas of Chile. Psychology, 4, 11-15. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.411A003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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