The authors disclose the following financial relationships within the past 3 years.
Retention in depression treatment among ethnic and racial minority groups in the United States†
Article first published online: 24 MAR 2010
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 27, Issue 5, pages 485–494, May 2010
How to Cite
Fortuna, L. R., Alegria, M. and Gao, S. (2010), Retention in depression treatment among ethnic and racial minority groups in the United States. Depress. Anxiety, 27: 485–494. doi: 10.1002/da.20685
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 24 MAR 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 9 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Received: 6 AUG 2009
- NIDA. Grant Number: K23DA018715
- NIH. Grant Number: U01MH06220
- National Institute of Mental Health. Grant Numbers: P50 MH073469-02, U01-MH57716, U01-MH60220
- Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR);
- University of Michigan
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Grant Number: 044708
- John W. Alden Trust
- retention in care;
- ethnic–racial minorities
Background: Premature discontinuation of psychiatric treatment among ethnic–racial minorities is a persistent concern. Previous research on identifying factors associated with ethnic–racial disparities in depression treatment has been limited by the scarcity of national samples with adequate representation of minority groups and especially non-English speakers. In this article, we aim to identify variations in the likelihood of retention in depression treatment among ethnic–racial minority groups in the United States as compared to non-Latino whites. Second, we aim to identify the factors that are related to treatment retention. Methods: We use data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys to examine differences and correlates of depression treatment retention among a representative sample (n=564) of non-Latino whites, Latinos, African-American, and Asian respondents with last 12-month depressive disorder and who report receiving formal mental health treatment in the last year. We define retention as attending at least four visits or remaining in treatment during a 12-month period. Results: Being seen by a mental health specialist as opposed to being seen by a generalist and having received medication are correlates of treatment retention for the entire sample. However, after adjusting for demographics, clinical factors including number of co-occurring psychiatric disorders and level of disability, African-Americans are significantly less likely to be retained in depression treatment as compared to non-Latino whites. Conclusions: Availability of specialized mental health services or comparable treatment within primary care could improve treatment retention. Low retention suggests persistent problems in the delivery of depression treatment for African-Americans. Depression and Anxiety, 2010.© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.