Screening for depression among indigenous Mexican migrant farmworkers using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9

Psychol Rep. 2010 Apr;106(2):419-32. doi: 10.2466/pr0.106.2.419-432.


U.S. farmworkers include growing numbers of individuals from indigenous, pre-Columbian communities in southern Mexico with distinctive languages and cultures. Given the high stress these farmworkers experience in their challenging work environments, they are very susceptible to depression and other mental and emotional health disorders. The present study explores the Spanish version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) as a screen for the presence and severity of depression among 123 indigenous Mexican-origin, migrant farmworkers in Oregon. Factor structure and inter-item correlations of the PHQ-9 are examined, along with associations between depression and culture-bound syndromes, self-esteem, self-efficacy, acculturation stress, and other sample psychosocial characteristics. The PHQ-9 exhibited strong factor loadings and internal consistency, and its severity score significantly correlated with other indicators of health status that were observed in previous studies to be significantly associated with depression. The PHQ-9 appears to be culturally relevant for use with Mexicans coming from a variety of indigenous cultures and having very low education and literacy.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Agriculture / statistics & numerical data
  • Culture
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology