Objective The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of psychological distress among Vietnamese adults attending Vietnamese-speaking general practices and explore possible risk factors in this population. Methods A cross-sectional survey of Vietnamese adult patients was conducted at 25 general practices with Vietnamese-speaking general practitioners (GPs) in south-western Sydney between October 2012 and February 2013. Patients completed the Kessler (K10) scale and a demographic questionnaire, available in Vietnamese or English. Data were analysed using SPSS version 21. Results Of the 350 patients invited to participate, 247 completed surveys (response rate 71%). One-quarter (25%) of participants had a very high K10 score for psychological distress, nearly twice that reported in the NSW Health Survey. Participants with high exposure to trauma were at increased risk of psychological distress (odds ratio 5.9, 95% confidence interval 2.4-14.4; P<0.0001) compared with those with mild or no trauma exposure. Similarly, risk was increased if there was a past history of mental health problems and a lack of personal and social support. Conclusion The high prevalence of mental health problems in adult Vietnamese people attending Vietnamese-speaking general practices is associated with exposure to trauma. This highlights the importance of personal, social and professional support in effective management. Vietnamese-speaking GPs who see Vietnamese or similar refugee groups should actively seek out a history of exposure to trauma, a past history of mental illness and the existence of support systems.
- Primary care