The common mental disorders represent a major public health problem. The prevalence of common mental disorders varies according to the method of evaluation, either with the use of a scale or conducting an interview. The prevalence of common mental disorders is almost 25%, if it is used the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12).1 Common mental disorders are more frequent among women than men; it seems that women are more sensitive to stressors. Around the world, common mental disorders produce a negative impact on life quality of many women. However, in developing countries a significant number of women with a common mental do not ask for medical or psychological help due to the stigma attached to mental disorders.2
Common mental disorders show a complex relationship with genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors play an important role in the onset and persistence of symptoms of mental health problems more common in the general population.3
The lifestyles or health-related behaviors such as drinking coffee, cigarette smoking and alcohol use, may change the course of many mental health problems. Health-related behaviors are associated with common mental disorders. Both men and women, drinking coffee, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are related to common mental disorders.4 Similarly, medical diagnoses present a significant association with common mental disorders.5
Colombia is a South American country that presents significant differences with
other Latin American countries. The social and political features of Colombia involve several psychosocial stressors. The political violence causes many deaths, more frequent among men than women. However, the forced displacement is more common for women than for men. Bucaramanga is a city settles in Northeast Colombia that receives a large number of inner migrants each year, a high percent of internally displaced women.
In female population, it is necessary to explore the prevalence of common mental disorders and estimate its relationship to health risk behaviors, such as abusive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and coffee intake. This information would be useful to design rational programs to early clinical identification and treatment. However, the prevalence of common mental disorders and its association with health-related behaviors have not been studied in Colombian population.
The aim of this survey was to explore the prevalence of mental common disorders and its relationship to health-related behaviors in a sample of adult women from the general population in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
A cross-sectional study was designed. It was approved by the Committee of Ethics of the Medicine Faculty of the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga, Colombia, that described as a minimum risk investigation for the possible participants. All the participants signed a consent informed, after knowing the goals of the study.
A multi-stage probability sample of...