An Examination Of Racial Disparities In The Utilization Services For The Treatment Of Major Depression Disorder
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentPublic Health and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Public Health
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Major Depression Disorder (MDD) is a worldwide public health problem and the third leading cause of disability adjusted life years (DALYs). For African Americans, the burden of MDD is not only disabling, but can be co-morbid with other health disparities. The research is predicated on the view that there are substantial racial differences in the utilization of services to treat MDD. Specifically, this research seeks to determine whether there are racial differences between African American and Whites in the use of services when controlling for various co-morbid variables contributing to MDD severity of need, predisposing, and enabling variables The data for this research are from Wave I (2001-2002) of the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) sample of 43,093. For this research, only African American and White respondents who met the DSM-IV criteria for major depression disorder were considered for inclusion in the study population. Based on the inclusion criteria, the sample for this research consisted of a subpopulation of African Americans (N= 372) and Whites (N =1,472) who met the criteria for major depression disorder. Seven stepwise logistic step regression models were constructed using the Andersen's Behavioral Health Model to examine Major Depression Disorder and utilization of counseling; prescription medication; counseling or prescription medication; emergency room; hospital; emergency room or hospital; or any services. The research found evidence of disparities in the utilization of services. African Americans were significantly more likely than Whites to use the emergency room or use the emergency room or be hospitalized. The research also found that severity and impairment and prior history of past treatment for MDD were significant predictors of the use of any services to treat MDD irrespective of race.