Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Public Health Reports


Frank mental disorders, such as depression and panic disorder, are prevalent in primary care; they cause people substantial suffering and interfere with daily functioning. Even subthreshold or "subsyndromal" conditions, with fewer symptoms than necessary for making a diagnosis, cause substantial morbidity. Recent literature on mental disorders in primary care, where many, if not most, people with mental health problems are seen, is reviewed with focus on recognition and diagnosis issues, management of these problems in primary care, obstacles to accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, and prevention issues. In addition to a review of recent research, there is an effort to place these topics in the context of various directives, including research and Federal documents, that have direct implications for better treatment in primary care of people with mental disorders (for example, practice guidelines). Mental health problems and disorders seen in primary care are a public health problem meriting immediate attention and substantial work at many levels--clinical, educational, organizational, and budgetary.

Published Citation

Gonzales, Junius J., Kathryn M. Magruder, and Samuel J. Keith. "Mental disorders in primary care services: an update." Public Health Reports 109, no. 2 (1994): 251.