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Fam Pract. 2012 Aug;29(4):394-400. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmr108. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Variations in depression care and outcomes among high-risk mothers from different racial/ethnic groups.

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Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA 98195-6560, USA.


PURPOSE. To examine variations in depression care and outcomes among high-risk pregnant and parenting women from different racial/ethnic groups served in community health centres.


As part of a collaborative care programme that provides depression treatment in primary care clinics for high-risk mothers, 661 women with probable depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 ≥ 10), who self-reported race/ethnicity as Latina (n = 393), White (n = 126), Black (n = 75) or Asian (n = 67), were included in the study. Primary outcomes include quality of depression care and improvement in depression. A Cox proportional hazard model adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics was used to examine time to treatment response.


We observed significant differences in both depression processes and outcomes across ethnic groups. After adjusting for other variables, Blacks were found to be significantly less likely to improve than Latinas [hazard ratio (HR): 0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.44-0.65]. Other factors significantly associated with depression improvement were pregnancy (HR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.27-1.82), number of clinic visits (HR: 1.26, 95% CI: 1.17-1.36) and phone contacts (HR: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.32-1.60) by the care manager in the first month of treatment. After controlling for depression severity, having suicidal thoughts at baseline was significantly associated with a decreased likelihood of depression improvement (HR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.67-0.83).


In this racially and ethnically diverse sample of pregnant and parenting women treated for depression in primary care, the intensity of care management was positively associated with improved depression. There was also appreciable variation in depression outcomes between Latina and Black patients.

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