Salud Mental infanto-juvenil en Chile y brechas de atención Sanitarias

Benjamín Vicente, Sandra Saldivia, Flora De la Barra, Roberto Melipillan, Mario Valdivia, Robert Kohn



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 risk factors, socioeconomic status and service use. Results: A sample of 1558 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