Estimating mental distress in Vietnam: the use of the SRQ-20

Lisa Richardson, Ananda Amstadter, Dean Kilpatrick, Mario Gaboury, Trinh Luong Tran, Nguyen Tam, Tran Tuan, La Buoi, Tran Ha, Thach Tran, Ron Acierno

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19 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT Background: Community-based estimates of psychopathology prevalence in developing countries such as Vietnam, are needed to reduce presumed signifi cant burden of poor mental health. Aims: This study derived population-based prevalence estimates of mental distress, as measured by the SRQ-20, in a community sample of 4,981 adults living in Vietnam. This study also examined correlates of mental distress based on SRQ-20 caseness indications. Risk and protective factors were identifi ed in terms of their unique contribution to caseness. Results: Using a cut-off of 7/8, 19.2 of the sample was considered to be a probable case (n = 954), with females endorsing more items than males. Marital status and employment status were not associated with mental health distress. Higher wealth, endorsing religious affi liation, and self-reports of good health were associated with lower SRQ-20 scores. Age and being female were associated with higher SRQ-20 scores. Conclusions: A single item was as adequate a measure of wealth as multi-item rating scales. Our estimate of mental distress using the SRQ-20 is much greater than that of other studies, and in contrast to western prevalence studies, age was not a protective factor in this study. The SRQ-20 is a brief, cost-effective and reasonably valid measure of both community and individual mental distress. Key words: community estimate, mental distress, mental health, Self Reporting Questionnaire 20, SRQ-20, Vietnam
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133 - 142
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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