Objective: To estimate the prevalence and comorbidity of the most common mental disorders in primary care practice in Spain, using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) questionnaire.
Design: A systematic sample of 7936 adult primary care patients was recruited by 1925 general practitioners in a large cross-sectional national epidemiological study. The PRIME-MD was used to diagnose psychiatric disorders.
Setting: 1356 primary care units proportionally distributed throughout the country.
Results: 53.6% of the sample presented one or more psychiatric disorder. The most prevalent were affective (35.8%), anxiety (25.6%), and somatoform (28.8%) disorders. 30.3% of the patients had more than one current mental disorder. 11.5% presented comorbidity between affective, anxiety, and somatoform disorders.
Conclusions: The study provides further evidence of the high prevalence and high comorbidity of mental disorders in primary care. Given the large overlap between affective, anxiety and somatoform disorders, future diagnostic classifications should reconsider the current separation between these entities.