The prevalence of depression among Maori patients in Auckland general practice

J Prim Health Care. 2009 Mar;1(1):26-9.


Introduction: There has been concern over high rates of mental illness in Maori. Previous studies in general practice have had small sample sizes.

Aim: To determine the prevalence of major depression among Maori patients in Auckland general practice using the CIDI and the PHQ as measurement tools.

Methods: This prevalence study is part of a larger randomised trial. The patients were recruited from 77 general practitioners from around Auckland who could provide a private room for interviewing. The patients were invited to participate in the waiting room and all consecutive patients were approached. For this study all patients received a computerised CIDI examination and one third received a PHQ assessment prior to getting the CIDI. The interviewer was blind to the questionnaire results when the patient did the CIDI.

Results: There were 7994 patients approached from whom there were data on 7432. The prevalence of Maori in the study was 9.7%. The overall 12-month prevalence of major depression based on the CIDI was 10.1% 95% CI (8.8 to 11.4). For Maori the prevalence was 11.5% 95% CI (8.8 to 14.2) and for non-Maori 10.1% 95% CI (8.6 to 11.3). For Maori men and Maori women the prevalence was 8.5% and 13.4% and for non-Maori men and non-Maori women it was 8.3% and 11.1%. The prevalence of depression over at least the previous two weeks on the PHQ > or = 9 for all participants was 12.9% 95% CI (11.2 to 14.5).

Discussion: The prevalence of depression among Maori is high, but not as high as earlier studies. This may be due to the bigger sample size of this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / ethnology*
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data*
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult