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Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2014 Winter;20(1):23-31. doi: 10.1310/sci2001-23.

Depression and depression treatment in women with spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Research Center , Houston, Texas ; The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research Memorial Hermann , Houston, Texas ; Center for Research on Women with Disabilities, Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas ; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas.
2
Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Research Center , Houston, Texas ; The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research Memorial Hermann , Houston, Texas ; Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston , Houston, Texas.
3
The Rural Institute on Disabilities, University of Montana , Missoula, Montana.
4
The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research Memorial Hermann , Houston, Texas ; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas.
5
Center for Research on Women with Disabilities, Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas ; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research has documented high rates of depression in people with spinal cord injury (SCI); however, most SCI research is conducted with predominantly male study participants. Additional research is needed on depression and depression treatment among women with SCI.

OBJECTIVE:

Study objectives were to examine depression, correlates of depression, and depression treatment in a sample of women with SCI.

METHODS:

The sample included 51 ethnically and racially diverse women with SCI who participated in a larger study on secondary conditions of women with diverse physical disabilities. Recruited through health clinics and community organizations in a large metropolitan area, participants completed structured interviews that included demographic and disability characteristics and measures of health and health care utilization.

RESULTS:

Scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) indicated that 41% of the women had depressive symptomatology in the mild to severe range. BDI-II scores were significantly related to more severe secondary conditions, greater pain, and poorer health perceptions but not to demographic or disability variables. Nearly a third (n = 16) of the women had scores exceeding the standard cutoff for significant clinical depressive symptomatology, yet only 5 of those had received any treatment for depression in the past 3 months and only 1 had received counseling or psychotherapy. Lifelong depression treatment showed a similar pattern of predominantly pharmacologic treatment.

CONCLUSION:

Depression is a common problem for women with SCI, and many do not receive treatment, particularly psychological treatment. Disability-sensitive and affordable depression treatment must be made available to women with SCI.

KEYWORDS:

depression; depression treatment; spinal cord injury; women

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