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Revista Virtual de la Sociedad Paraguaya de Medicina Interna

On-line version ISSN 2312-3893


BANOS-CHAPARRO, Jonatan. Depressive symptoms in Peruvian adults: a network analysis. Rev. virtual Soc. Parag. Med. Int. [online]. 2021, vol.8, n.2, pp.11-22. ISSN 2312-3893.


People who experience depressive symptoms, generally inform emotional and physical problems that complicate their state health. Prevention efforts are necessary for early intervention and it is relevant to identify the most important symptoms for prevention and intervention strategies in the general population.


To analyze the interrelation and central depressive symptoms in the general population of Peruvian adults by means of a network analysis.


Two hundred seventy-five Peruvian adults participated and were evaluated with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. A regularized partial correlation cross-sectional network structure was estimated. Specifically, the force centrality index, predictability, stability and tests of differences of the edge weights and force were analyzed. This study respected ethical aspects, such as confidentiality of information, anonymity and informed consent.


It was evidenced that all nodes of the network structure were positively associated, where thoughts of death were associated with psychomotor problems, feelings of worthlessness and changes in appetite. The mean predictability was 30% and the most common central depressive symptoms were thoughts of death and concentration difficulties. The force estimate was stable (0.59) and the post-hoc tests showed significant differences in the edge weights and force.


The study findings suggest that thoughts of death and concentration difficulties perform an important role in the network structure in the Peruvian general adult population. Hence, these symptoms could help health professionals to identify the most vulnerable people to develop depressive symptoms and, consequently, they can be important targets for prognosis, intervention, and prevention strategies in primary mental health care.

Keywords : depression; affective symptoms; mental health; adult; network analysis.

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