Mental health data available in representative surveys conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean countries: a scoping review

Francesca Ramírez-Bontá, Rafaela Vásquez-Vílchez, Milagros Cabrera-Alva, Sharlyn Otazú-Alfaro, Guillermo Almeida-Huanca, Juan Ambrosio-Melgarejo, Joel Figueroa-Quiñones, Alejandra B. Romero-Cabrera, Anayeli Huaman-Santa Cruz, Esthefani Chávez-Hinostroza, Melanie Rosado-Medina, Wildo Siancas-Villano, Camilo Quintana-Castro, Juan Carlos Bazo-Alvarez, David Villarreal-Zegarra

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review


Background Mental health data from Latin America and the Caribbean countries (LACC) national and international surveys are essential for public health surveillance. This review aimed to identify and describe available mental health survey data in LACC, providing access details for researchers. Methods Our study was a scoping review. The search for available mental health survey data was conducted in PubMed and through grey literature searches, and the search dates were between 26 August 2021 and 15 October 2021. Included survey data were/had (1) nationally representative, (2) the latest version available from 2012 onward, (3) collected in at least one LACC and (4) at least one mental health variable or related factor. We accepted all written languages, including Spanish and English. Results A total of 56 national and 13 international surveys were included, with data available on 95 mental health variables classified into 10 categories. Most national surveys were performed in upper-middle-income countries. Variables categorised as 'Substance use' and 'Violence' were the most frequent. Mexico and Colombia had the highest production in both the national and international surveys. The main target population was the adult population. However, there are several mental health topics and LACC yet unsurveyed. Conclusion We identified a total of 69 representative surveys from LACCs since 2012. We categorised the available data on mental health variables into 10 categories, and provided technical details to facilitate the future selection and use of these surveys.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere069861
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
StateIndexed - 5 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • epidemiology
  • mental health
  • psychiatry


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