Home > The prevalence of common mental and substance use disorders in general practice: a literature review and discussion paper.

Klimas, Jan and Neary, Anna and McNicholas, Claire and Meagher, David and Cullen, Walter (2014) The prevalence of common mental and substance use disorders in general practice: a literature review and discussion paper. Mental Health and Substance Use , 7 , (4) , pp. 497-508.


Enhanced primary care management of common mental and substance use disorders is a key healthcare target. Though primary care may be well placed to achieve this target, a greater understanding of the prevalence and profile of common mental and substance use disorders in primary care settings is needed. We searched the MEDLINE database (2002–2012) to provide an update on biomedical literature describing the prevalence of common mental and substance use disorders in European general practice. Following “PRISMA” guidelines, 17 studies were kept for qualitative synthesis. Prevalence, profile, screening instruments, associated co-morbidities, and gender distribution were tabulated. Depending on the screening method, the prevalence of common mental and substance use disorders ranged from 10.4% (Luxemburg) to 53.6% (Spain). Mood disorders were the most common. High co-morbidity with anxiety and somatisation hindered early identification and management. The continuing burden of common mental and substance use disorders, coupled with poor identification described in the updated EU biomedical literature, suggests that the unmet need for health care – identified by the World Health Organization a decade ago – remains unmet. Understanding the prevalence of common mental and substance use disorders, associated morbidity, and the extent to which general practice represents an important catchment mechanism can enhance their management at this level. General practitioners should be trained in accurate screening. Short screening instruments for general practitioners should be unified and promoted.

Item Type:Article
Date:2014
Page Range:pp. 497-508
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Volume:7
Number:4
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Related URLs:
Subjects:G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Substance related mental disorder
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Care by type of problem > Mental health care
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Community-based treatment (primary care)
T Demographic characteristics > Doctor
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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