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Previous studies exploring the prevalence of depression among South Asians reported inconsistent findings. Research artefacts due to sampling bias, measurements errors and a failure to include ethnographic methods may all explain this. We estimated the prevalence of depression, and variations of prevalence with culture, cultural adaptation, somatic symptoms and physical disability in a cross-sectional primary care survey of Punjabi and English attendees. We included a culture specific screening instrument, culturally adapted the instruments and offered bilingual interviews. We found that, compared with their English counterparts, depressive diagnoses were more common among Punjabis, Punjabi women, Punjabis with physical complaints and, contrary to expectation, even Punjabis with low scores for somatic symptoms. © 2004, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Transcultural Psychiatry

Publication Date





307 - 322