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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2015;50(3):271-89. doi: 10.1177/0091217415610320.

Unmet need for treatment of depression among immigrants from the former USSR in the US: A primary care study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA al2898@cumc.columbia.edu.
2
New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
3
New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

The stress of immigration can increase risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), while cultural factors can contribute to difficulty in diagnosis and treatment of MDD among immigrant populations. Consequently, immigrants are less likely to have their treatment needs met. Our goal was to assess the unmet need for the diagnosis and treatment of depression among immigrants from the former USSR-a large immigrant group in the US-as well as demographic characteristics and immigration history associated with depression. We conducted a survey in an urban primary care clinic using measures of MDD symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), functioning, and treatment history among 102 Russian-speaking immigrants. Current moderate-to-severe symptoms of MDD were reported by 26.5% of participants with 33.3% of the symptomatic patients reporting suicidal ideation. Among participants with probable MDD, 63.0% reported not receiving mental health treatment and 59.3% never being diagnosed with MDD. The rates of untreated depression did not vary by gender nor did they diminish with prolonged stay in the US. Results suggest that undiagnosed and untreated depression is highly prevalent in this immigrant group.

KEYWORDS:

Depression; Russian-speaking immigrants; cultural factors; primary care; unmet need for treatment

PMID:
26561274
DOI:
10.1177/0091217415610320
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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