Feb. 22, 2011
Treatment for Major Depression in Teens Less Likely for Minorities
ATLANTA – An Emory study released today reinforces the fact that mental health care across in the United States is not equitable when it comes to major depression in children 12-17.
Researchers from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Dr. Janet R. Cummings and Dr. Benjamin G. Druss analyzed five years of data (2004 – 2008) collected from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) with a representative sample of 7,704 adolescents, 12-17 years of age, who were diagnosed with major depression within the previous year.
The article “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adolescents With Major Depression,” published in the February 2011 edition of Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry indicate the percentage of non-Hispanic whites who received any major depression treatment was 40% compared with 32% in blacks, 31% in Hispanics, and 19% in Asians after adjusting for demographics and health status.
Cummings and Druss report that one fourth of all adolescents with major depression received school-based counseling. “Investment in quality improvement programs implemented in primary care settings as well as school-based mental health services may reduce unmet need for mental health services in all adolescents with major depression and reduce the sizeable differences in service use across racial/ethnic groups.
The full study, which was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health grant, can be found online.
The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.