Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 895425, 9 pages
Research Article

Care-Seeking Pattern among Persons with Depression and Anxiety: A Population-Based Study in Sweden

Division of Public Health Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Norrbacka Plan 7, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 12 January 2012; Accepted 29 February 2012

Academic Editor: Jan De Lepeleire

Copyright © 2012 Anna Wallerblad et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. In primary care, a vast majority of patients affected with depression and anxiety present with somatic symptoms. Detection rate of psychiatric symptoms is low, and knowledge of factors influencing care seeking in persons affected by depressive and anxiety disorders on a population level is limited. Objective. This study aims to describe if persons, affected by depression and anxiety disorders, seek care and which type of care they seek as well as factors associated with care seeking. Method. Data derives from a longitudinal population-based study of mental health conducted in the Stockholm County in 1998–2010 and the present study includes 8387 subjects. Definitions of anxiety and depressive disorders were made according to DSM-IV criteria, including research criteria, using validated diagnostic scales. 2026 persons (24%) fulfilled the criteria for any depressive or anxiety disorder. Results. Forty-seven percent of those affected by depression and/or anxiety had been seeking care for psychological symptoms within the last year. A major finding was that seeking care for psychological symptoms was associated with having treatment for somatic problems. Conclusions. As a general practitioner, it is of great importance to increase awareness of mild mental illness, especially among groups that might be less expected to be affected.