Psychiatry Research

Rivière M., Plancke L., Leroyer A., Blanchon T., Prazuck T., Prouvost H.,  Sobczack B., De Pauw C., Ferreira L., Toullic Y., Lerouge P., Melchior M., Younès N. Prevalence of work-related common psychiatric disorders in primary care: The French Héraclès study, Psychiatry Research, sous presse


BACKGROUND: Work-related common mental disorders are an important public health problem. General practitioners (GP) are often on the frontline for individuals with common mental disorders, data on the prevalence in general practice are limited. The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of common work-related mental health disorders in general practice.

METHOD: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 2019 working patients aged 18-65 years of 121 GPs in the Nord – Pas-de-Calais region in France (April-August 2014). Each patient completed a questionnaire administered by his/her physician. Common mental disorders were assessed using a) the MINI (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview), b) patient-reported psychological distress and c) GP-diagnosed psychological distress. The work-relatedness of a mental disorder was ascertained by the GP and/or the patient. Prevalence rates were calculated according to patients’ demographic and work characteristics.

RESULTS: The prevalence of work-related common mental disorders ascertained using the MINI was estimated at 25.6% [23.7 – 27.5]; generalized anxiety: 18.2% [16.5 – 19.9], major depression: 13.9% [12.4 - 15.4], suicidal risk: 8.8% [7.6 - 10.1] and alcohol addiction: 5.5% [4.5 - 6.5]. The prevalence of work-related self-reported psychological distress was 24.5% [22.6 – 26.4] and the prevalence of GP-diagnosed psychological distress 25.8% [23.9 – 27.7]. Sex, age and occupational categories are associated with work-related MINI-diagnosed common mental disorder. The prevalence was higher for patients who consulted their GP for psychologic reason.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of work-related common mental disorders among working adults seen in general practice is high. GPs have a key role in detecting and managing these disorders.