Studying Depression, Anxiety, Distress and Somatization in a Community Sample of 2,425 Adults in Greece

Maya Louvardi, Panagiotis Pelekasis, Flora Bacopoulou, Dimitrios Vlachakis, George Chrousos, Christina Darviri


A growing part of the literature has focused on depression, anxiety, distress and somatization. Identifying their prevalence and recording high-risk populations is essential in order to form relevant interventional programs addressing these symptoms. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and associated factors of distress, depression, anxiety and somatization in a community adult sample in Greece. Participants were recruited from two Greek cities; Giannitsa in the northern area and Athens in the southern area of the country and  completed sociodemographic assessments, as well as the 4-Dimensional Symptom Questionnaire (4-DSQ), a self-reported instrument assessing depression, anxiety, distress and somatization.

A total of 2,425 adults, females (60.1%) and males (39.9%), 18 to 84 years of age (mean age 46.98 ± SD) participated in the study. Mental health symptoms were reported by 10.8% for depression, 12% for anxiety, 13% for distress and 5.3% for somatization of the participants. Females scored higher than males in anxiety, distress, and somatization (p=0.000 in all cases), while there were no significant sex differences in depression (p=0.593). Statistically significant associations were found between age and depression, anxiety and distress (p=0.000 in all cases), since those between 18-34 years of age had higher scores than the older age groups in all variables. Higher scores of depression, anxiety and distress were reported by students and unemployed participants (p=0.000 in all cases) than participants with other occupations.

 This study mapped several sociodemographic groups with worse mental health. Studies in representative population samples are needed to guide public health interventions to improve the mental and physical well-being of high-risk populations.


mental health; Greece; 4-Dimensional Symptom Questionnaire; 4-DSQ; depression; anxiety; distress; somatization

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