Chronic Disease and Mental Health Perception

Claudia Chaves, João Duarte, Paula Nelas, Emilia Coutinho, Maria Martins, Paulo Vale, Mariana Teixeira, Tiago Paiva, Sandra Tricas-Sauras, Angela Kydd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sociodemographic characteristics of individuals with chronic disease(s) and the presence of impaired mental health need further attention as indicated by WHO. This is particularly relevant in primary settings and for specific populations as those with an ageing condition. The purpose of this study was to examine the self–assessed perceptions of mental health status of participants who visited a Health Centre. A quantitative study was conducted. A purposive sample (n=1336) of users attending a Portuguese Health Centre were asked to complete a series of questionnaires. One on socio–demographic information, one on the presence of chronic disease(s), one on self–perception of wellbeing, plus Goldberg’s (1979) General Health Questionnaire (GHQ–28). Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS V20). Multiple analyses were conducted. Of the 1336 participants, 63.5% were female. The average age of the total sample was 52 (sd: 17.77) and 929 presented with 1 or more chronic illnesses (mean: 1.47 in women and 1.34 for men). The variables associated with a greater likelihood of self–reported mental health and chronic disease were female gender (63%), recurring visits (4 or more) to their GP during the past year (48.4%) and presence of 2 or more chronic diseases. Inferential analysis showed a statistically significant association with the GHQ–28 scores. The study findings suggest that chronic diseases and mental health self–perception appear to be associated. Better strategies to facilitate early identification of compromised mental health in chronic patients should be implemented. Further research on this topic is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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