Depressive phenomenology in North and South American patients

Am J Psychiatry. 1983 Jan;140(1):47-51. doi: 10.1176/ajp.140.1.47.


The authors assessed patients newly admitted to two North American health centers and one South American (Colombian) center according to a standardized protocol, with a structured interview, a symptom checklist, and a depression scale. The patients were suffering from major depressive disorders with endogenous features. There was an impressive similarity in symptoms of depression across cultures, supporting the idea of a universal core depressive syndrome. However, somatization indexes, psychomotor components of depression, and levels of psychopathology differed between U.S. and Colombian samples. The authors offer a general discussion of potential determinants of these cross-cultural differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Colombia
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • United States