Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
GONCALVES, Daniel Maffasioli and KAPCZINSKI, Flavio. Prevalence of mental disorders at a referral center for the Family Health Program in Santa Cruz do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.9, pp. 2043-2053. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008000900010.
Among the ten leading causes of disability-adjusted life years, seven are mental disorders. Primary health care centers are crucial to public mental health policies, according to the World Health Organization. This study aimed to verify the prevalence of mental disorders among individuals seeking care at the referral center for a Family Health Program (FHP) team in Santa Cruz do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, and the influence of psychiatric diagnosis on utilization of the health system. Of the 754 participants, 51.1% had a psychiatric diagnosis. Subjects with a psychiatric diagnosis showed significantly higher use of the health system in the previous 12 months. Mental disorders have a negative impact on well-being and quality of life, besides increasing the use of health resources due to untreated symptoms and because mental disorders contribute negatively to the prognosis of non-psychiatric medical conditions. These results show the importance of including mental health care in the FHP in Brazil.
Keywords : Family Health Program; Mental Disorders; Primary Health Care; Mental Health.