Twelve-month prevalence rates of mental disorders and service use in the Argentinean Study of Mental Health Epidemiology

Juan Carlos Stagnaro, Alfredo H. Cía, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Néstor Vázquez, Sebastián Sustas, Corina Benjet, Ronald C. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Community surveys of mental disorders and service use are important for public health policy and planning. There is a dearth of information for Latin America. This is the first representative community survey in the Argentinean population. The purpose is to estimate the 12-month prevalence and severity of mental disorders, socio-demographic correlates and service use in a general population survey of adults from urban areas of Argentina. Methods: The World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to 3927 individuals aged 18 years and older participating in a multistage clustered area probability household survey. The response rate was 77%. Results: The 12-month prevalence of any disorder was 14.8%, and a quarter of those disorders were classified as severe. Younger participants and those with lower education had greater odds of any disorder and most classes of disorder. 11.6% of the total population received treatment in the prior 12 months and only 30.2% of those with a severe disorder. Women and those never married were more likely to receive or seek treatment, whereas those with low and low-average education were less likely. Conclusion: Most individuals with a mental disorder in the past year, even those with a severe disorder, have not received treatment. Because low education is a barrier to treatment, initiatives aimed at mental health education might help timely detection and treatment of these disorders in Argentina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Argentina
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Service use
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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