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Prevalence and predictors of psychological distress among primary healthcare service users in Mansoura district, Egypt

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The current study is a health facility‐based cross‐sectional study that aims to measure the prevalence of psychological distress and to determine its associated factors among primary healthcare (PHC) service users in Mansoura district, Egypt. The study included service users aged ≥18 years. A predesigned structured interviewer‐administered questionnaire was used to collect data from participants during the period from January 2018 to November 2018. The questionnaire included four sections; sociodemographic characteristics, recent history of stressful life events, history of relevant health conditions and a validated Arabic version of General Health Questionnaire, that was used to screen for psychological distress. The total calculated sample size was 573. Data was analysed using SPSS V. 16. Results indicated that the prevalence of psychological distress among PHC service users was 72.2% (95% CI: 68.6%–75.9%). Being a female, non‐working, or married increased the risk of high psychological distress [OR (95%CI): 1.6 (1.2–2.4), 1.8(1.2–2.8) and 1.7 (1.1–2.8) respectively], but these factors were insignificant in multiple regression. Exposure to domestic violence (DV) and being current smokers were the only independent significant predictors of psychological distress [adjusted OR (95%CI): 3.8 (1.7–8.1) and 0.7 (0.4–0.9) respectively]. Findings indicate that psychological distress is common among PHC service users. Exposure to DV significantly predicts psychological distress, while smoking is associated with lower stress. Screening of PHC service users for mental health problems should be integrated within the PHC system.
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Keywords: Egypt; mental disorders; mental health; prevalence; primary healthcare; psychological distress; risk factors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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