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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


VICENTE, Benjamín et al. Prevalence of psychiatric disorders among Chilean children and adolescents. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.4, pp. 447-457. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Psychiatric disorders that appear during childhood or adolescence should be a public health priority. Aim: To report the results of a national representative survey in the Latin American region examinig the prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Material and Methods: Subjects aged 4 to 18 years were selected using a stratified multistage design. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (DISC-IV) was used to obtain 12-month DSM-IV diagnoses, and was supplemented with questionnaires examining family riskfactors, socioeconomic status and service use. Results: A sample of1558 children and adolescents (51% males) was evaluated. Fifty three percent of the sample were children aged 4 to 11 years and the rest were adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. The prevalence rate for any psychiatric disorder without impairment was 38.3% (33.5% for boys and 43.3% for girls). The prevalence rate was higher among children as compared to adolescents (42.9% and 33.2%, respectively). A third of participants receiving a diagnosis sought some form of assistance. Nearly a quarter of those using services, did not have a psychiatric diagnosis in the past year. Comorbidity was found in 27% of those with a disorder, but only 7% had three or more diagnoses. Conclusions: The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Chile is high among children and adolescents. This study highlights the increasing need to re-evaluate mental health services provided to children and adolescents in our country.

Palabras clave : Adolescent; Chile; Epidemiology; Mental disorders; prevalence.

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