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The Origins of Psychiatric Epidemiology in Chile in the Twentieth Century, as a Tool for Community Action: An Historical Analysis

  • Rubén Alvarado
  • Leonel Valdivia
Chapter
  • 28 Downloads
Part of the Theory and History in the Human and Social Sciences book series (THHSS)

Abstract

Little historical and epistemological analysis has been carried out in the field of epidemiology, especially in the epidemiology of mental disorders. This chapter studies a specific period of the development of studies in this field, between the years 1957 and 1973, in Chile. A team led by Juan Marconi and José Horwitz, from the University of Chile, made significant advances in conceptual and methodological aspects that allowed them to carry out three studies on the prevalence of mental disorders at the population level (1957–1958, 1965–1966 and 1967–1968). The main achievements of these studies were (a) the definition of six basic psychopathological models, (b) the definition of conceptual and operational criteria for these six psychopathological models and specific indicators to identify a case, and (c) a structured survey instrument for these studies. These investigations showed prevalence rates that were very similar to those of current studies in the country. These results served to illustrate the need to develop community-based programs for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders.

Keywords

Psychiatric epidemiology Community psychiatry Historical analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubén Alvarado
    • 1
  • Leonel Valdivia
    • 1
  1. 1.Program of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, School of Public HealthUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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