Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Tools May Miss Depression in African American Patients: Standard Questionnaires Fall Short

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Tools May Miss Depression in African American Patients: Standard Questionnaires Fall Short

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- Depression may present differently in African Americans than in whites, especially in African American men.

This may explain the relatively low rate of diagnosed depression in African Americans, L. DiAnne Bradford, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the National Medical Association.

Current tools for diagnosing depression do not adequately screen for hopelessness, helplessness, anger, irritation, and pain symptoms, said Dr. Bradford, director of the minority mental health research program at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta.

When depression is diagnosed in African Americans, they are less likely to receive antidepressant therapy. If they receive an antidepressant, African Americans are more likely to get a tricyclic antidepressant than a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Dr. Bradford and her associates studied the prevalence and presentation of depression in more than 1,000 African Americans from the Atlanta area who were recruited from a family practice clinic at Morehouse. Their mean age was 38 years old, and 72% were women; 51% went to college, and 20% received college degrees.

The results from standard depression questionnaires showed the prevalence of depression was 27% among women and 10% among men. …

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