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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2012 Oct;47(10):1617-25. doi: 10.1007/s00127-011-0465-6. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Longitudinal predictors of first time depression treatment utilization among adults with depressive disorders.

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VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, VA Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center (SMITREC), 2215 Fuller Road (11H), Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA.



Depressive disorders are a growing public health concern, however, a substantial number of depressed individuals do not receive treatment. This study examined the longitudinal predictors of receiving depression treatment among adults with persistent depressive disorders and no lifetime history of treatment.


The sample included respondents to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol Related Conditions (NESARC), a large population-based survey, who met criteria for a 12-month major depressive disorder (MDD) or dysthymia (DYS) and had no prior depression treatment. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted examining which socio-demographic and clinical predictors among individuals with depressive disorders and no prior treatment at Wave 1 were associated with receiving depression treatment at Wave 2 (N = 337).


Only 47.2% of those with MDD or DYS and no prior treatment at Wave 1 had received depression treatment at Wave 2. Females were more likely to have received treatment at Wave 2: those of Hispanic ethnicity, other race, unmarried, 12 years of education, self-rated health of good/very good/excellent and anxiety disorders were less likely to have received treatment at Wave 2. Those with substance use disorders were more likely to have received treatment at Wave 2.


This study highlights individuals who would likely benefit from increased efforts to enhance depression treatment utilization.

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