Psychiatric disorders among the Mapuche in Chile.

The International journal of social psychiatry

PubMedID: 16048241

Vicente B, Kohn R, Rioseco P, Saldivia S, Torres S. Psychiatric disorders among the Mapuche in Chile. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2005;51(2):119-27.
BACKGROUND
The Mapuche are the largest indigenous group in Chile; yet almost all data on the mental health of indigenous populations are from North America.

AIM
The study examines the differential DSM-III-R prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders and service utilization among indigenous and non-indigenous community residence.

METHODS
The Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was administered to a stratified random sample of 75 Mapuche and 434 non-Mapuche residents of the province of Cautín. Lifetime prevalence and 12-month prevalence rates were estimated.

RESULTS
Approximately 28.4% of the Mapuche population had a lifetime, and 15.7% a 12-month, prevalent psychiatric disorder compared to 38.0% and 25.7%, respectively, of the non-Mapuche. Few significant differences were noted between the two groups; however, generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobia, and drug dependence were less prevalent among the Mapuche. Service utilization among the Mapuche with mental illness was low.

CONCLUSIONS
This is a preliminary study based on a small sample size. Further research on the mental health of indigenous populations of South America is needed.