Patterns of Dysphoria in a Puerto Rican Urban Community

Carlos Roberto Jaén, Sunita Chadha, Laurene M. Tumiel, Robert O'Shea, Mary Ann Deibel-Braun, Luis E. Zayas, Donald Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to explore the prevalence of perceived dysphoria in a poor, urban, predominantly Puerto Rican community. A cross-sectional sample of 704 adult respondents were asked a single validated question, with a five-item Likert scale response, about their level of perceived dysphoria. Chi-squared analysis and Spearman's correlation coefficients were used to assess the association of level of dysphoria with social characteristics, barriers to health care, health status, and substance use. Linear regression modeling was used to control for confounding variables. Twenty percent of the respondents were dysphoric. Respondents with no health insurance or no source of health care were least likely to be dysphoric. Persons who perceived distance to the hospital and the doctor, and understanding language of the doctor and office staff as barriers to care were more likely to be dysphoric. Ethnicity was not correlated with level of perceived dysphoria; however, age, gender, and health status were found to be associated with level of dysphoria after controlling for other correlated variables. These results indicate that the psychological needs of communities need to be understood and interventions that are appropriate for the population need to be devised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Dysphoria
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Mental health services
  • Psychosocial factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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