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J Ambul Care Manage. 2006 Apr-Jun;29(2):133-40.

Relationship between symptoms of depression, functional health status, and chronic disease among a residential sample of African Americans.

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  • 1Health Services Research Consultant, Venice, Fla 34293, USA.


Depression and psychological distress often go unrecognized and untreated in primary care settings. The association between depression, socioeconomic status, and chronic disease underscore the importance of incorporating mental health education and screening into community-based health initiatives. This is particularly critical for African Americans who bear a disproportionate burden of poverty and chronic disease. This descriptive study assessed associations between symptoms of depression, socioeconomic status, healthcare utilization, physical and mental health functioning, and reactions to race among a sample of low-income African Americans. Consistent with the findings of previous research, respondents with symptoms of depression reported lower levels of physical and mental health functioning, and perceived that they had been treated worse by others at work, and had worse healthcare experiences than those of other races. Community-based programs for reducing disparities in physical illness may need to address the burden of undiagnosed and untreated depression in order to become optimally effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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