Author(s): Bhugra D, Mastrogianni A
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Globalisation is the process by which traditional boundaries of cultures are changing. Industrialisation, urbanisation and influence of the media are influencing idioms of distress across cultures. AIMS: To discuss the role of globalisation, using the epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical presentation and treatment of depression across various cultures as an example. METHOD: Recent studies focusing on transcultural aspects of depression were reviewed and summarised. RESULTS: Cultural, social and religious mores account for variations in the presentation of depression across cultures. Somatic symptoms are common presenting features throughout the world and may serve as cultural idioms of distress, but psychological symptoms can usually be found when probed. Feelings of guilt and suicide rates vary across cultures and depression may be underdiagnosed. CONCLUSIONS: Training packages could enhance clinicians'cultural competency in multicultural settings. However, globalisation is likely to influence idioms of distress and pathways to care in ways that are difficult to predict.
This article was published in Br J Psychiatry
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health