J Prev Med Public Health.  2015 Sep;48(5):257-263. 10.3961/jpmph.15.009.

Prevalence of Depressive Disorder of Outpatients Visiting Two Primary Care Settings

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. y1693@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Clinical Research Center for Depression of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Family Medicine, Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Kim Jong Lyul Internal Medicine Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Although the prevalence of depressive disorders in South Korea's general population is known, no reports on the prevalence of depression among patients who visit primary care facilities have been published. This preliminary study was conducted to identify the prevalence of depressive disorder in patients that visit two primary care facilities.
Among 231 consecutive eligible patients who visited two primary care settings, 184 patients consented to a diagnostic interview for depression by psychiatrists following the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria. There were no significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics such as gender, age, or level of education between the groups that consented and declined the diagnostic examination. The prevalence of depressive disorder and the proportion of newly diagnosed patients among depressive disorder patients were calculated.
The prevalence of depressive disorder of patients in the two primary care facilities was 14.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.1 to 19.2), with major depressive disorder 5.4% (95% CI, 2.1 to 8.7), dysthymia 1.1% (95% CI, 0.0 to 2.6), and depressive disorder, not otherwise specified 7.6% (95% CI, 3.7 to 11.5). Among the 26 patients with depressive disorder, 19 patients were newly diagnosed.
As compared to the general population, a higher prevalence of depressive disorders was observed among patients at two primary care facilities. Further study is needed with larger samples to inform the development of a primary care setting-based depression screening, management, and referral system to increase the efficiency of limited health care resources.


Depression; Primary health care; Patients; Prevalence; Epidemiology
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