Objectives: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders and the influence of sociodemographic characteristics on primary healthcare (PHC) setting in Kuwait. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in PHC setting in Kuwait using the Beck Depression Inventory second edition questionnaire (BDI II) as a screening instrument, together with a sociodemographic questionnaire. A representative sample drawn from the target population consisted of 2,320 subjects of Kuwaiti nationality randomly selected from 18 PHC centers covering all Kuwait governorates during the period from April 2003 to January 2004. The target age group was 21–64 years. Participants were asked to complete the BDI II questionnaire consisting of 21 items reflecting the depressive disorder independently. Sociodemographic data such as sex, age, marital status, children, occupation, educational status, chronic diseases and social problems were included in the questionnaire. The optimum cutoff score for BDI II was estimated. Results: A total of 2,320 participants completed the questionnaire, 1,082 (46.8%) male and 1,237 (53.2%) female; 860 (37.1%) screened positive for depressive symptoms, among whom 352 (15.3%) were male and 508 (21.7%) female. Of all participants, 163 (7.0%) were severely depressed, 314 (13.5%) moderately depressed and 383 (16.5%) mildly depressed. Depressive disorder was more prevalent among women than men, young than old, more among highly educated individuals, working participants, married individuals, and parents with 3 or more children. Conclusion: Depressive disorder is a highly prevalent condition among Kuwaiti patients attending PHC setting. Chronic diseases and social problems are risk factors for depressive disorder.

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