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Depressive symptoms in adolescents (1). Prevalence - remedy

Depressive symptoms in adolescents (1). Prevalence - remedy

Archives Belges 47(1-4): 29-33

This study concerns a population of 900 Belgian adolescents aged 16 to 21, i.e. 300 students, 300 workers and 300 unemployed. They accepted to answer a detailed questionnaire including a French version of the CES-D scale (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression). The prevalence rates of depressive symptoms observed in Belgium are higher than those found in the US. Moreover the Belgian adolescents observed in this study reach more often than U.S. adolescents the level of "clinical depressions" (18.9%). The rates are still higher when "occasional depressive symptoms" are also considered (occurrence: 1-2 days during the last week). However comparisons of this kind cannot be interpreted in a simplistic way. The rates vary with the social status of the adolescents: the unemployed present the highest level, followed by students; the workers have, comparatively, the lowest rates. These high prevalence rates require in depth analyses. The adolescents may need medical, psychological or social assistance which should be offered, at the primary care level. However their own choice leads them to get help elsewhere: close friends, partners (couple), simple friends (in French: "copain" and "copine"), siblings etc. Adolescents consult their doctor only exceptionally. This raises important questions, namely in the field of the training of health personnel.

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Accession: 039766490

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PMID: 2610567

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