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Common mental disorders in primary care in India: little to distinguish five commonly used screening instruments

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How effectively do five commonly used instruments screen for common mental disorders in primary care in India?


598 adults aged over 18 years attending three primary health centres (PHCs) and two GP clinics in Goa in India. These were a “systematic sample” of all people attending these facilities; consecutive patients from the three PHCs, every fourth patient from the first GP clinic and every fifth patient from the second GP clinic. People requiring urgent medical attention were excluded.


Goa, India; time period not stated.


Screening properties of five different instruments were tested: the Primary Health Questionnaire (PHQ), a 9-item, self-administered version of the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders instrument for common mental disorders; the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), a short 12-item version of this commonly used screening questionnaire; the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ), a 20-item questionnaire originally developed on behalf of the WHO; the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), a 10-item questionnaire that has been used in …

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  • Competing interests: None.