Original Research

PACES: a primary care tool to detect mental health disorders in Indigenous Colombians


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Felipe Agudelo-Hernández1
PhD, Consultant *

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Rodrigo Rojas Andrade2

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Helena Vélez Botero3
MSc, Psychologist


1 Promoción y Prevención, Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social de Colombia, Manizales, Caldas 170001, Colombia

2 Center for Mental Health in Educational Communities, University Santiago de Chile, Santiago, Chile

3 Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia

ACCEPTED: 12 April 2023

early abstract:

Aims: To present the process of intercultural creation and validation, in addition to analyzing the psychometric properties of the PACES scale (PACES by its acronym in Spanish: Parenting, Behavior, Emotions and Suicide risk).
Materials and methods: Cross-sectional study, cultural adaptation and validation was carried out by expert judges in mental health with an ethnic approach, subsequently, the instrument was applied, and a factorial analysis was carried out, and it was determined concordance between the instrument and two expert evaluators in spiritual disharmony. The sample consisted of 168 families of children and young people (54.8% women, 45.2% men), with a mean age of 11.2 years. Regarding the geographical location, it was found that 44% were from Guajira, 44.6% from Nariño and 11.3% from Vaupés, from the Wayuu, Awá and Embera communities, respectively.
Results: The scale showed high reliability (Alpha= .911), and in the factorial analysis parenting domains were formed from the parents; involvement, monitoring and bond, from boys, girls and young people; suicidal risk perceived by caregivers and perceived by children and young people; in addition to a total mental health risk. The questions that inquire about hallucinations and seizures did not show grouping in any factor, and two questions were eliminated. Similarly, a high inter-rater concordance was shown, with a higher Cohen's Kappa for all domains.
Conclusions: there are few intercultural and early detection studies of parenting and mental health problems in children and youth, with an ethnic approach. That it is an instrument for monitoring mental health problems in children and adolescents and parenting practices used in socialization from the perspective of caregivers and children and adolescents. This study indicates that the scale is an adequate tool, quick and easy to administer in first level care settings.