Prevalence and correlates of mental disorders among Native American women in primary care.

OBJECTIVES: We examined the lifetime and the past-year prevalence and correlates of common mental disorders among American Indian and Alaska Native women who presented for primary care.

METHODS: We screened 489 consecutively presenting female primary care patients aged 18 through 45 years with the General Health Questionnaire, 12-item version. A subsample (n = 234) completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. We examined associations between psychiatric disorders and sociodemographic variables, boarding school attendance, and psychopathology in the family of origin.

RESULTS: The study participants had high rates of alcohol use disorders, anxiety disorders, and anxiety/depression comorbidity compared with other samples of non-American Indian/Alaska Native women in primary care settings.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a need for culturally appropriate mental health treatments and preventive services.