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1.  Characterizing Depression and Comorbid Medical Conditions in African American Women in a Primary Care Setting 
Background
African American women are more likely to seek treatment for depression in primary care settings; however, few women receive guideline-concordant depression treatment in these settings. This investigation focused on the impact of depression on overall functioning in African American women in a primary care setting.
Methods
Data was collected from a sample of 507 African American women in the waiting room of an urban primary care setting. The majority of women were well-educated, insured, and employed. The CESD-R was used to screen for depression, and participants completed the 36-Item Short-Form Survey to determine functional status.
Results
Among the participants with depression, there was greater functional impairment for role-physical (z = −0.88, 95% CI = −1.13, −0.64) when compared to individuals with diabetes and hypertension. Individuals with depression also had greater role-emotional impairment (z=−1.12, 95% CI = −1.37, −0.87) than individuals with diabetes and hypertension. African American women with comorbid hypertension and depression had greater functional impairment in role-physical when compared to African American women with hypertension and no depression (t(124)= −4.22, p<0.01).
Conclusion
African American women with depression are more likely to present with greater functional impairment in role function when compared to African American women with diabetes or hypertension. Because African American women often present to primary care settings for treatment of mental illness, primary care providers need to have a clear understanding of the population, as well as the most effective and appropriate interventions.
PMCID: PMC4039195  PMID: 24079219
depression; African American women; primary care
2.  Racial differences in the discussion and treatment of depressive symptoms accompanying type 2 diabetes 
Objective
To compare rates of discussion and treatment for depression among African Americans and Whites with diabetes.
Methods
Measures of diabetes status, depressive symptoms, and history of discussing and being treated for depression were collected from 56 adults with depressive symptoms accompanying diabetes who were drawn from a larger study of type 2 diabetes.
Results
Analyses adjusted for confounders and multiple tests indicated that relative to Whites, African Americans were 6–12 times less likely to have ever: discussed depression with anyone (p=.007), discussed depression with their primary care physician (p=.008), been prescribed an antidepressant (p=.002), and they were 25 times less likely to have seen a psychiatrist (p=.003). There were no significant differences in discussing depression with clergypersons, or family members/friends.
Conclusions
Compared to their White counterparts, African Americans with depressive symptoms accompanying diabetes are unlikely to discuss depression with healthcare professionals, be prescribed antidepressant medication, or be seen by a psychiatrist. Minority diabetes patients' medical and psychiatric outcomes may improve if healthcare providers more actively initiate these discussions, provide culturally-tailored education about the nature of depression and its management, incorporate patient preferences into treatment plans, and establish relationships with persons more likely to learn about African American patient symptoms.
doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2009.08.004
PMCID: PMC2760610  PMID: 19766341
Depression; Treatment Seeking; Disparities; Diabetes
3.  Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Treatment among African-Americans: A Multivariate Analysis 
Background
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is substantial among African-Americans; however, research on characteristics of African-Americans who use of CAM to treat specific conditions is scarce.
Objective
To determine what predisposing, enabling, need, and disease state factors are related to CAM use for treatment among a nationally representative sample of African-Americans.
Methods
A cross-sectional study design was employed using the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). A nationwide representative sample of adult (≥ 18 years) African-Americans who used CAM in the past 12 months (n= 16,113,651 weighted; n=2,952 unweighted) were included. The Andersen Healthcare Utilization Model served the framework with CAM use for treatment as the main outcome measure. Independent variables included: predisposing (e.g., age, gender, education), enabling (e.g., income, employment, access to care); need (e.g., health status, physician visits, prescription medication use); and disease state (i.e., most prevalent conditions among African-Americans) factors. Multivariate logistic regression was used to address the study objective.
Results
Approximately one in five (20.2%) CAM past 12 month users used CAM to treat a specific condition. Ten of the 15 CAM modalities were used primarily for treatment by African-Americans. CAM for treatment was significantly (p<0.05) associated with the following factors: graduate education, smaller family size, higher income, region (northeast, midwest, west more likely than south), depression/anxiety, more physician visits, less likely to engage in preventive care, more frequent exercise behavior, more activities of daily living (ADL) limitations, and neck pain.
Conclusions
Twenty percent of African-Americans who used CAM in the past year were treating a specific condition. Alternative medical systems, manipulative and body-based therapies, as well as folk medicine, prayer, biofeedback, and energy/Reiki were used most often. Health care professionals should routinely ask patients about CAM use, but when encountering African-Americans, there may be a number of factors that may serve as cues for further inquiry.
doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2009.08.001
PMCID: PMC2933406  PMID: 20813333
African-American; Andersen Healthcare Utilization Model; CAM; CAM for treatment complementary/alternative medicine
4.  Reinterpreting Ethnic Patterns among White and African American Men Who Inject Heroin: A Social Science of Medicine Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e452.
Background
Street-based heroin injectors represent an especially vulnerable population group subject to negative health outcomes and social stigma. Effective clinical treatment and public health intervention for this population requires an understanding of their cultural environment and experiences. Social science theory and methods offer tools to understand the reasons for economic and ethnic disparities that cause individual suffering and stress at the institutional level.
Methods and Findings
We used a cross-methodological approach that incorporated quantitative, clinical, and ethnographic data collected by two contemporaneous long-term San Francisco studies, one epidemiological and one ethnographic, to explore the impact of ethnicity on street-based heroin-injecting men 45 years of age or older who were self-identified as either African American or white. We triangulated our ethnographic findings by statistically examining 14 relevant epidemiological variables stratified by median age and ethnicity. We observed significant differences in social practices between self-identified African Americans and whites in our ethnographic social network sample with respect to patterns of (1) drug consumption; (2) income generation; (3) social and institutional relationships; and (4) personal health and hygiene. African Americans and whites tended to experience different structural relationships to their shared condition of addiction and poverty. Specifically, this generation of San Francisco injectors grew up as the children of poor rural to urban immigrants in an era (the late 1960s through 1970s) when industrial jobs disappeared and heroin became fashionable. This was also when violent segregated inner city youth gangs proliferated and the federal government initiated its “War on Drugs.” African Americans had earlier and more negative contact with law enforcement but maintained long-term ties with their extended families. Most of the whites were expelled from their families when they began engaging in drug-related crime. These historical-structural conditions generated distinct presentations of self. Whites styled themselves as outcasts, defeated by addiction. They professed to be injecting heroin to stave off “dopesickness” rather than to seek pleasure. African Americans, in contrast, cast their physical addiction as an oppositional pursuit of autonomy and pleasure. They considered themselves to be professional outlaws and rejected any appearance of abjection. Many, but not all, of these ethnographic findings were corroborated by our epidemiological data, highlighting the variability of behaviors within ethnic categories.
Conclusions
Bringing quantitative and qualitative methodologies and perspectives into a collaborative dialog among cross-disciplinary researchers highlights the fact that clinical practice must go beyond simple racial or cultural categories. A clinical social science approach provides insights into how sociocultural processes are mediated by historically rooted and institutionally enforced power relations. Recognizing the logical underpinnings of ethnically specific behavioral patterns of street-based injectors is the foundation for cultural competence and for successful clinical relationships. It reduces the risk of suboptimal medical care for an exceptionally vulnerable and challenging patient population. Social science approaches can also help explain larger-scale patterns of health disparities; inform new approaches to structural and institutional-level public health initiatives; and enable clinicians to take more leadership in changing public policies that have negative health consequences.
Bourgois and colleagues found that the African American and white men in their study had a different pattern of drug use and risk behaviors, adopted different strategies for survival, and had different personal histories.
Editors' Summary
Background.
There are stark differences in the health of different ethnic groups in America. For example, the life expectancy for white men is 75.4 years, but it is only 69.2 years for African-American men. The reasons behind these disparities are unclear, though there are several possible explanations. Perhaps, for example, different ethnic groups are treated differently by health professionals (with some groups receiving poorer quality health care). Or maybe the health disparities are due to differences across ethnic groups in income level (we know that richer people are healthier). These disparities are likely to persist unless we gain a better understanding of how they arise.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers wanted to study the health of a very vulnerable community of people: heroin users living on the streets in the San Francisco Bay Area. The health status of this community is extremely poor, and its members are highly stigmatized—including by health professionals themselves. The researchers wanted to know whether African American men and white men who live on the streets have a different pattern of drug use, whether they adopt varying strategies for survival, and whether they have different personal histories. Knowledge of such differences would help the health community to provide more tailored and culturally appropriate interventions. Physicians, nurses, and social workers often treat street-based drug users, especially in emergency rooms and free clinics. These health professionals regularly report that their interactions with street-based drug users are frustrating and confrontational. The researchers hoped that their study would help these professionals to have a better understanding of the cultural backgrounds and motivations of their drug-using patients.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Over the course of six years, the researchers directly observed about 70 men living on the streets who injected heroin as they went about their usual lives (this type of research is called “participant observation”). The researchers specifically looked to see whether there were differences between the white and African American men. All the men gave their consent to be studied in this way and to be photographed. The researchers also studied a database of interviews with almost 7,000 injection drug users conducted over five years, drawing out the data on differences between white and African men. The researchers found that the white men were more likely to supplement their heroin use with inexpensive fortified wine, while African American men were more likely to supplement heroin with crack. Most of the white men were expelled from their families when they began engaging in drug-related crime, and these men tended to consider themselves as destitute outcasts. African American men had earlier and more negative contact with law enforcement but maintained long-term ties with their extended families, and these men tended to consider themselves as professional outlaws. The white men persevered less in attempting to find a vein in which to inject heroin, and so were more likely to inject the drug directly under the skin—this meant that they were more likely to suffer from skin abscesses. The white men generated most of their income from panhandling (begging for money), while the African American men generated most of their income through petty crime and/or through offering services such as washing car windows at gas stations.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Among street-based heroin users, there are important differences between white men and African American men in the type of drugs used, the method of drug use, their social backgrounds, the way in which they identify themselves, and the health risks that they take. By understanding these differences, health professionals should be better placed to provide tailored and appropriate care when these men present to clinics and emergency rooms. As the researchers say, “understanding of different ethnic populations of drug injectors may reduce difficult clinical interactions and resultant physician frustration while improving patient access and adherence to care.” One limitation of this study is that the researchers studied one specific community in one particular area of the US—so we should not assume that their findings would apply to street-based heroin users elsewhere.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030452.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a web page on HIV prevention among injection drug users
The World Health Organization has collected documents on reducing the risk of HIV in injection drug users and on harm reduction approaches
The International Harm Reduction Association has information relevant to a global audience on reducing drug-related harm among individuals and communities
US-focused information on harm reduction is available via the websites of the Harm Reduction Coalition and the Chicago Recovery Alliance
Canada-focused information can be found at the Street Works Web site
The Harm Reduction Journal publishes open-access articles
The CDC has a web page on eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities
The Drug Policy Alliance has a web page on drug policy in the United States
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030452
PMCID: PMC1621100  PMID: 17076569
5.  Factors Influencing Emergency Department Preference for Access to Healthcare 
Introduction:
African-Americans are more likely than Caucasians to access healthcare through the emergency department (ED); however, the reasons behind this pattern are unclear. The objective is to investigate the effect of race, insurance, socioeconomic status, and perceived health on the preference for ED use.
Methods:
This is a prospective study at a tertiary care ED from June to July 2009. Patients were surveyed to capture demographics, healthcare utilization, and baseline health status. The primary outcome of interest was patient-reported routine place of healthcare. Other outcomes included frequency of ED visits in the previous 6 months, barriers to primary care and patient perception of health using select questions from the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36).
Results:
Two hundred and ninety-two patients completed the survey of whom 58% were African-American and 44% were uninsured. African-Americans were equally likely to report 3 or more visits to the ED, but more likely to state a preference for the ED for their usual place of care (24% vs. 13%, p < 0.01). No significant differences between groups were found for barriers to primary care, including insurance. African-Americans less often reported comorbidities or hospitalization within the previous 6 months (23% vs. 34%, p = 0.04). On logistic regression modeling, African-Americans were more than 2 times as likely to select the ED as their usual place of healthcare (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.22 – 4.08).
Conclusion:
African-Americans, independent of health insurance, are more likely than Caucasians to designate the ED as their routine place of healthcare.
doi:10.5811/westjem.2011.11.6820
PMCID: PMC3556949  PMID: 23359637
6.  Depression and anxiety and their association with healthcare utilization in pediatric lupus and mixed connective tissue disease patients: a cross-sectional study 
Background
Depression and anxiety adversely affects outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and healthcare utilization is high for pediatric SLE. We aimed to characterize the prevalence of depression and anxiety in pediatric SLE, and their association with healthcare utilization.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of pediatric SLE and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) subjects and healthy controls aged 8 years and above. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) and the Screen for Childhood Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED) to identify depression, suicidal ideation and anxiety symptoms, respectively. We compared symptom prevalence in SLE/MCTD and healthy subjects using logistic regression. For SLE/MCTD subjects, we calculated the rate of annual outpatient visits [rheumatology/nephrology, primary care provider (PCP) and emergency department], hospitalizations and rheumatology/nephrology telephone consultations in the preceding year. We compared these outcomes in those with and without depression and anxiety using negative binomial regression.
Results
We identified depression symptoms in 10 (20%) SLE/MCTD and 4 (8%) healthy subjects, representing a trend towards increased prevalence in unadjusted analysis (OR = 2.9, 95% CI 0.8-9.9, p = 0.09). Adjusted analysis did not show a significant difference; however, non-white race was a statistically significant independent risk factor for depression symptoms compared to white race (OR = 5.4, 95% CI 1.1-27.2, p = 0.04). We identified anxiety symptoms in 11 (22%) SLE/MCTD and 13 (26%) healthy subjects, which was not statistically different. Suicidal ideation was present in 7 (14%) SLE/MCTD and 2 (4%) healthy subjects, which was a statistically significant difference (OR = 5.4, 95% CI 1.02-28.3, p = 0.047). Of the 34% of SLE/MCTD subjects with any symptoms, only 24% had previous mental health care. Those with depression symptoms had a statistically significant lower rate of visits to the PCP (IRR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.19-0.76, p < 0.001). Anxiety symptoms were not associated with the healthcare utilization outcomes.
Conclusions
Depression and anxiety symptoms were prevalent, and suicidal ideation significantly more common in SLE/MCTD than in healthy subjects. Non-white race was an independent risk factor for depression. Despite prevalent symptoms, there were poor rates of prior mental health treatment, and less frequent PCP visits among those with depression symptoms. Further investigation of barriers to mental health care and interventional strategies for symptomatic youth with SLE/MCTD is needed.
doi:10.1186/1546-0096-12-42
PMCID: PMC4169806  PMID: 25242900
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Pediatric; Depression; Anxiety; Suicide; Healthcare utilization
7.  Patient and Healthcare Provider Views of Depressive Symptoms and Diabetes in American Samoa 
High type 2 diabetes prevalence, associated with recent cultural changes in diet and physical activity, characterizes the U.S. territory of American Samoa. Comorbid diabetes and depression rates are high worldwide and contribute to negative diabetes outcomes; these rates have not been assessed in American Samoa. In this study, six focus groups (FGs) were conducted with 39 American Samoan adults with diabetes; questions on perceptions of diabetes and depressive symptoms were included. Thirteen healthcare staff interviews were conducted to gain further insight into diabetes care in American Samoa. FGs and healthcare staff interviews were translated, transcribed, and entered into NVivo 8 to facilitate analysis. Thematic analysis showed that diabetes patients saw depressive symptoms as directly contributing to high blood sugar. However, these symptoms were rarely mentioned spontaneously, and providers reported they seldom assess them in patients. Many patients and healthcare staff believed the best ways to respond to feelings of depression involved relaxing, leaving difficult situations, or eating. Staff also discussed cultural stigma associated with depression and the importance of establishing rapport before discussing it. In conclusion, healthcare providers in American Samoa need training to increase their awareness of depressive symptoms' negative impact on diabetes management in patients who screen positive for depression. All providers must approach the subject in a supportive context after establishing rapport. This information will be used for cultural translation of a community health worker and primary care-coordinated intervention for adults with diabetes in American Samoa, with the goal of creating an effective and sustainable intervention.
doi:10.1037/a0020089
PMCID: PMC3050566  PMID: 21058808
Depression; Type 2 diabetes; American Samoa; health care interventions; health beliefs
8.  Patient–Physician Communication in the Primary Care Visits of African Americans and Whites with Depression 
Background
Little research investigates the role of patient–physician communication in understanding racial disparities in depression treatment.
Objective
The objective of this study was to compare patient–physician communication patterns for African-American and white patients who have high levels of depressive symptoms.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This is a cross-sectional study of primary care visits of 108 adult patients (46 white, 62 African American) who had depressive symptoms measured by the Medical Outcomes Study–Short Form (SF-12) Mental Component Summary Score and were receiving care from one of 54 physicians in urban community-based practices.
Main Outcomes
Communication behaviors, obtained from coding of audiotapes, and physician perceptions of patients’ physical and emotional health status and stress levels were measured by post-visit surveys.
Results
African-American patients had fewer years of education and reported poorer physical health than whites. There were no racial differences in the level of depressive symptoms. Depression communication occurred in only 34% of visits. The average number of depression-related statements was much lower in the visits of African-American than white patients (10.8 vs. 38.4 statements, p = .02). African-American patients also experienced visits with less rapport building (20.7 vs. 29.7 statements, p = .009). Physicians rated a higher percentage of African-American than white patients as being in poor or fair physical health (69% vs. 40%, p = .006), and even in visits where depression communication occurred, a lower percentage of African-American than white patients were considered by their physicians to have significant emotional distress (67% vs. 93%, p = .07).
Conclusions
This study reveals racial disparities in communication among primary care patients with high levels of depressive symptoms. Physician communication skills training programs that emphasize recognition and rapport building may help reduce racial disparities in depression care.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0539-7
PMCID: PMC2324146  PMID: 18264834
depression; African Americans; healthcare disparities; patient–physician communication
9.  Early Emergence of Ethnic Differences in Type 2 Diabetes Precursors in the UK: The Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE Study) 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(4):e1000263.
Peter Whincup and colleagues carry out a cross-sectional study examining ethnic differences in precursors of of type 2 diabetes among children aged 9–10 living in three UK cities.
Background
Adults of South Asian origin living in the United Kingdom have high risks of type 2 diabetes and central obesity; raised circulating insulin, triglyceride, and C-reactive protein concentrations; and low HDL-cholesterol when compared with white Europeans. Adults of African-Caribbean origin living in the UK have smaller increases in type 2 diabetes risk, raised circulating insulin and HDL-cholesterol, and low triglyceride and C-reactive protein concentrations. We examined whether corresponding ethnic differences were apparent in childhood.
Methods and Findings
We performed a cross-sectional survey of 4,796 children aged 9–10 y in three UK cities who had anthropometric measurements (68% response) and provided blood samples (58% response); ethnicity was based on parental definition. In age-adjusted comparisons with white Europeans (n = 1,153), South Asian children (n = 1,306) had higher glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (% difference: 2.1, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.7), fasting insulin (% difference 30.0, 95% CI 23.4 to 36.9), triglyceride (% difference 12.9, 95% CI 9.4 to 16.5), and C-reactive protein (% difference 43.3, 95% CI 28.6 to 59.7), and lower HDL-cholesterol (% difference −2.9, 95% CI −4.5 to −1.3). Higher adiposity levels among South Asians (based on skinfolds and bioimpedance) did not account for these patterns. Black African-Caribbean children (n = 1,215) had higher levels of HbA1c, insulin, and C-reactive protein than white Europeans, though the ethnic differences were not as marked as in South Asians. Black African-Caribbean children had higher HDL-cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels than white Europeans; adiposity markers were not increased.
Conclusions
Ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes precursors, mostly following adult patterns, are apparent in UK children in the first decade. Some key determinants operate before adult life and may provide scope for early prevention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, nearly 250 million people have diabetes, and the number of people affected by this chronic disease is increasing rapidly. Diabetes is characterized by dangerous amounts of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases when blood sugar levels rise after eating (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that usually respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin (insulin resistant). Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, and with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that make cells more sensitive to insulin. Long-term complications of diabetes include kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and stroke.
Why Was This Study Done?
South Asians and African-Caribbeans living in Western countries tend to have higher rates of type 2 diabetes than host populations. South Asian adults living in the UK, for example, have a 3-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than white Europeans. They also have higher fasting blood levels of glucose, insulin and triglycerides (a type of fat), higher blood levels of “glycated hemoglobin” (HbA1c; an indicator of average of blood-sugar levels over time), more body fat (increased adiposity), raised levels of a molecule called C-reactive protein, and lower levels of HDL-cholesterol (another type of fat) than white Europeans. Most of these “diabetes precursors” (risk factors) are also seen in black African-Caribbean adults living in the UK except that individuals in this ethnic group often have raised HDL-cholesterol levels and low triglyceride levels. Ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes precursors are also present in adolescents, but the extent to which they are present in childhood remains unclear. Knowing this information could have implications for diabetes prevention. In this population-based study, therefore, the researchers investigate patterns of diabetes precursors in 9- to 10-year-old UK children of white European, South Asian, and black African-Caribbean origin.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled nearly 5,000 children (including 1,153 white European, 1,306 South Asian and 1,215 black African-Caribbean children) from primary schools with high prevalences of ethnic minority pupils in London, Birmingham, and Leicester in the Child Heart and Health study in England (CHASE). They measured and weighed more than two-thirds of the enrolled children and determined their adiposity. They also took blood samples for measurement of diabetes precursors from nearly two-thirds of the children. The recorded ethnicity of each child was based on parental definition. The researchers' analysis of these data showed that, compared with white Europeans, South Asian children had higher levels of HbA1c, insulin, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein but lower HDL-cholesterol levels. In addition, they had higher adiposity levels than the white European children, but this did not account for the observed differences in the other diabetes precursors. Black African-Caribbean children also had higher levels of HbA1c, insulin, and C-reactive protein than white European children, although the differences were smaller than those between South Asians and white Europeans. Similar to black African-Caribbean adults, however, children of this ethnic origin had higher HDL-cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels than white Europeans.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that ethnic differences in diabetes precursors are already present in apparently healthy children before they are 10 years old. Furthermore, most of the ethnic differences in diabetes precursors seen among the children follow the pattern seen in adults. Although these findings need confirming in more children, they suggest that the ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes susceptibility first described in immigrants to the UK are persisting in UK-born South Asian and black African-Caribbean children. Most importantly, these findings suggest that some of the factors thought to be responsible for ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes—for example, varying levels of physical activity and dietary differences—are operating well before adult life. Interventions that target these factors early could, therefore, offer good opportunities for diabetes prevention in high-risk ethnic groups, provided such interventions are carefully tailored to the needs of these groups.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000263.
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about all aspects of diabetes (in English, French and Spanish)
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides detailed information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including information on diabetes in specific US populations (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service also provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes (in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a fact sheet on diabetes disparities among racial and ethnic minorities
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000263
PMCID: PMC2857652  PMID: 20421924
10.  Dual Use of VA and Non-VA Services Among Primary Care Patients with Depression 
Background
Depression treatment requires close monitoring to achieve optimal, long-term control. Use of multiple sources of health care can affect coordination and continuity of treatment for depression.
Objectives
To assess levels of non-Veterans Health Administration (VA) use among depressed primary care patients by service type and examine patient factors associated with non-VA use.
Design
Cross-sectional comparison of dual and VA-only users among depressed primary care patients. Depression was defined as PHQ-9 ≥10.
Subjects
Five hundred fifty depressed patients from the baseline sample of a group-randomized trial of collaborative care for depression in ten VA primary care practices.
Measurements
VA and non-VA outpatient utilization for physical and emotional health problems in the prior 6 months, patient demographics, and co-morbid conditions. All measures were self-reported and obtained at the baseline interview.
Results
Overall, 46.8% of VA depressed primary care patients utilized non-VA care. Dual users were more likely to use acute care services (emergency room or inpatient), especially for physical health problems. Dual users of physical health services had more total visits, but fewer VA visits than VA-only users, while dual users of emotional health services had fewer total and VA visits. Factors associated with dual use were urban clinic location, having other insurance coverage, and dissatisfaction with physical health care in general.
Conclusions
Almost half of depressed primary care patients used non-VA care, with most of their non-VA use for physical rather than emotional health problems. Care management strategies for depressed patients should include communication and coordination with non-VA providers.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0867-7
PMCID: PMC2642572  PMID: 19101777
dual use; depression; primary care; veterans
11.  Prevalence and Correlates of Depressive Symptoms Among Rural Older African Americans, Native Americans, and Whites With Diabetes 
Diabetes care  2005;28(4):823-829.
OBJECTIVE
Depression is associated with morbidity, mortality, and decreased quality of life and is a well-established complication among people with diabetes. Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among older adults living in rural communities, particularly among ethnic minority groups, who are at increased risk of developing diabetes and complications.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Data were analyzed from the ELDER (Evaluating Long-term Diabetes Self-management Among Elder Rural Adults) diabetes study in which face-to-face interviews were conducted with 696 older (≥65 years of age) African-American, Native American, and white men and women in two rural counties in central North Carolina.
RESULTS
Using a criterion of ≥9 on a modified CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Study of Depression) scale, 15.8% of the sample had depressive symptoms. In bivariate analyses, depressive symptomatology was more common among women and individuals who were unmarried and had less than a high school education, fewer financial resources, more chronic conditions, more prescription medications, and lower physical functioning. In multivariate analyses, sex, education, living arrangement, BMI, number of prescription medications, number of chronic conditions, and physical functioning remained significant.
CONCLUSIONS
These results show that older rural adults with diabetes are at high risk for depressive symptoms, regardless of their ethnic group, and that certain demographic and health characteristics are important factors in this association. These findings add to the limited body of knowledge of comorbid depression in this population. Greater attention should be paid to diagnosing and treating this condition by those who provide care to these populations.
PMCID: PMC1592640  PMID: 15793180
12.  Depression in sickle cell disease. 
PURPOSE: To assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms and examine the contribution of demographics, disease severity, and health care use variables to depressive symptoms in sickle cell patients who had been in stable health for at least one month. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Subjects were a convenience sample of 27 men and 23 women selected during a routine visit to the sickle cell clinic at Howard University Hospital. Depression was assessed using a cut-off score from the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and related to a variety of health outcomes. RESULTS: The results of the analyses indicate that 44% (n=22) of the sample scored within the mild to severe (>20) range of depression on the BDI. Depressed sickle cell patients were more frequently treated in emergency rooms and more likely to be hospitalized with vaso-occlusive crises. Patients more likely to be depressed were: those with low family income (<$10,000); less than high school education; female; those who had multiple blood transfusions; poor pain control; inadequate social support; hydroxyurea use; and had histories of frequent vaso-occlusive crises. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of depressive symptoms in sickle cell patients is high compared to the general African American population. Our findings confirmed previous studies examining the occurrence of depression in adults with sickle cell disease. Treatment of depression should be strongly considered to improve the quality of life and probably disease course in sickle cell patients.
PMCID: PMC2594635  PMID: 12911250
13.  Effect of Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Depressive Symptoms: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(11):e1001762.
In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Matthew James and colleagues investigate the effects of continuous positive airway pressure or mandibular advancement devices on depression.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and decreased quality of life. Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or mandibular advancement devices (MADs) is effective for many symptoms of OSA. However, it remains controversial whether treatment with CPAP or MAD also improves depressive symptoms.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of CPAP or MADs on depressive symptoms in patients with OSA. We searched Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials, and PsycINFO from the inception of the databases until August 15, 2014, for relevant articles.
In a random effects meta-analysis of 19 identified trials, CPAP treatment resulted in an improvement in depressive symptoms compared to control, but with significant heterogeneity between trials (Q statistic, p<0.001; I2 = 71.3%, 95% CI: 54%, 82%). CPAP treatment resulted in significantly greater improvement in depressive symptoms in the two trials with a higher burden of depression at baseline (meta-regression, p<0.001). The pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) in depressive symptoms with CPAP treatment in these two trial populations with baseline depression was 2.004 (95% CI: 1.387, 2.621), compared to 0.197 (95% CI: 0.059, 0.334) for 15 trials of populations without depression at baseline. Pooled estimates of the treatment effect of CPAP were greater in parallel arm trials than in crossover trials (meta-regression, p = 0.076). Random effects meta-analysis of five trials of MADs showed a significant improvement in depressive symptoms with MADs versus controls: SMD = 0.214 (95% CI: 0.026, 0.401) without significant heterogeneity (I2 = 0%, 95% CI: 0%, 79%). Studies were limited by the use of depressive symptom scales that have not been validated specifically in people with OSA.
Conclusions
CPAP and MADs may be useful components of treatment of depressive symptoms in individuals with OSA and depression. The efficacy of CPAP and MADs compared to standard therapies for depression is unknown.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that is particularly common among middle-aged and elderly people, although most are unaware that they have the condition. It is characterized by the occurrence of numerous brief (ten seconds or so) breathing interruptions during sleep. These “apneas” occur when relaxation of the upper airway muscles decreases airflow, which lowers the level of oxygen in the blood. Consequently, affected individuals are frequently aroused from deep sleep as they struggle to breathe. Symptoms of OSA include loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Treatments include lifestyle changes such as losing weight (excess fat around the neck increases airway collapse) and smoking cessation. Mild to moderate OSA can also be treated using a mandibular advancement device (MAD), a “splint” that fits inside the mouth and pushes the jaw and tongue forward to increase the space at the back of the throat and reduce airway narrowing. For severe OSA, doctors recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in which a machine blows pressurized air into the airway through a facemask to keep it open.
Why Was This Study Done?
OSA is a serious condition that is associated with an increased risk of illness and death. Clinical depression (long-lasting, overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness), for example, is common among people with OSA. The interaction between these frequently co-morbid (co-existing) conditions is complex. The sleep disruption and weight gain that are often associated with depression could cause or worsen OSA. Conversely, OSA could trigger depression by causing sleep disruption and by inducing cognitive changes (changes in thinking) by intermittently starving the brain of oxygen. If the latter scenario is correct, then treating OSA with CPAP or MADs might improve depressive symptoms. Several trials have investigated this possibility, but their results have been equivocal. Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that have examined the effect of CPAP or MADs on depressive symptoms in patients with OSA to find out whether treating co-morbid OSA in patients with depression can help to treat depression. A randomized controlled trial compares the outcomes of individuals chosen to receive different interventions through the play of chance, a systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic, and meta-analysis uses statistical methods to combine the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 22 trials that investigated the effects of CPAP or MAD treatment in patients with OSA and that measured depressive symptoms before and after treatment. Meta-analysis of the results of 19 trials that provided information about the effect of CPAP on depressive symptoms indicated that CPAP improved depressive symptoms compared to the control intervention (usually sham CPAP) but revealed considerable heterogeneity (variability) between trials. Notably, CPAP treatment resulted in a greater improvement in depressive symptoms in trials in which there was a high prevalence of depression at baseline than in trials in which there was a low prevalence of depression at baseline. Moreover, the magnitude of this improvement in depressive symptoms in trials with a high prevalence of depression at baseline was large enough to be clinically relevant. Meta-analysis of five trials that provided information about the effect of MADs on depressive symptoms indicated that MADs also improved depressive symptoms compared to the control intervention (sham MAD).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that both CPAP and MAD treatment for OSA can result in modest improvements in depressive symptoms and that populations with high initial levels of depressive symptoms may reap the greatest benefits of CPAP treatment. These findings give no indication of the efficacy of CPAP and MADs compared to standard treatments for depression such as antidepressant medications. Moreover, their accuracy may be limited by methodological limitations within the trials included in the meta-analyses reported here. For example, the questionnaires used to measure depression in these trials were not validated for use in people with OSA. Further high-quality randomized controlled trials are therefore needed to confirm the findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis. For now, however, these findings suggest that the use of CPAP and MADs may help improve depressive symptoms among people with OSA.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001762.
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has information (including several videos) about sleep apnea (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information and personal stories about obstructive sleep apnea and depression
The not-for-profit American Sleep Apnea Association provides detailed information about sleep apnea for patients and healthcare professionals, including personal stories about the condition
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression (in English and Spanish)
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides information about sleep disorders
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on obstructive sleep apnea; MedlinePlus provides links to further information and advice about obstructive sleep apnea and about depression (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001762
PMCID: PMC4244041  PMID: 25423175
14.  Regular Breakfast Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes Risk Markers in 9- to 10-Year-Old Children in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE): A Cross-Sectional Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(9):e1001703.
Angela Donin and colleagues evaluated the association between breakfast consumption and composition and risk markers for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in 9- and 10-year-olds.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Regular breakfast consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes risk in adults but little is known about its influence on type 2 diabetes risk markers in children. We investigated the associations between breakfast consumption (frequency and content) and risk markers for type 2 diabetes (particularly insulin resistance and glycaemia) and cardiovascular disease in children.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 4,116 UK primary school children aged 9–10 years. Participants provided information on breakfast frequency, had measurements of body composition, and gave fasting blood samples for measurements of blood lipids, insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). A subgroup of 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall. Among 4,116 children studied, 3,056 (74%) ate breakfast daily, 450 (11%) most days, 372 (9%) some days, and 238 (6%) not usually. Graded associations between breakfast frequency and risk markers were observed; children who reported not usually having breakfast had higher fasting insulin (percent difference 26.4%, 95% CI 16.6%–37.0%), insulin resistance (percent difference 26.7%, 95% CI 17.0%–37.2%), HbA1c (percent difference 1.2%, 95% CI 0.4%–2.0%), glucose (percent difference 1.0%, 95% CI 0.0%–2.0%), and urate (percent difference 6%, 95% CI 3%–10%) than those who reported having breakfast daily; these differences were little affected by adjustment for adiposity, socioeconomic status, and physical activity levels. When the higher levels of triglyceride, systolic blood pressure, and C-reactive protein for those who usually did not eat breakfast relative to those who ate breakfast daily were adjusted for adiposity, the differences were no longer significant. Children eating a high fibre cereal breakfast had lower insulin resistance than those eating other breakfast types (p for heterogeneity <0.01). Differences in nutrient intakes between breakfast frequency groups did not account for the differences in type 2 diabetes markers.
Conclusions
Children who ate breakfast daily, particularly a high fibre cereal breakfast, had a more favourable type 2 diabetes risk profile. Trials are needed to quantify the protective effect of breakfast on emerging type 2 diabetes risk.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 380 million people have diabetes, a disorder that is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes) blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled initially with diet and exercise and with drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas. However, many patients eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease), reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes. Risk factors for the condition include being over 40 years old and being overweight or obese.
Why Was This Study Done?
Experts predict that by 2035 nearly 600 million people will have diabetes so better strategies to prevent diabetes are urgently needed. Eating breakfast regularly—particularly a high fiber, cereal-based breakfast—has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (and a reduced risk of being overweight or obese) in adults. However, little is known about whether breakfast eating habits affect markers of type 2 diabetes risk in children. In this cross-sectional study (an observational investigation that studies a group of individuals at a single time point), the researchers examine the associations between breakfast consumption (both frequency and content) and risk markers for type 2 diabetes, particularly insulin resistance and glycemia (the presence of sugar in the blood), in an ethnically mixed population of children; insulin resistance and glycemia measurements in children provide important information about diabetes development later in life.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers invited 9–10 year old children attending 200 schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester to participate in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE), a study examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in children of South Asian, black African-Caribbean, and white European origin. The researchers measured the body composition of the study participants and the levels of insulin, glucose, and other markers of diabetes risk in fasting blood samples (blood taken from the children 8–10 hours after their last meal or drink). All the participants (4,116 children) reported how often they ate breakfast; 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire. Seventy-four percent of the children reported that they ate breakfast every day, 11% and 9% reported that they ate breakfast most days and some days, respectively, whereas 6% reported that they rarely ate breakfast. Children who ate breakfast infrequently had higher fasting insulin levels and higher insulin resistance than children who ate breakfast every day. Moreover, the children who ate a high fiber, cereal-based breakfast had lower insulin resistance than children who ate other types of breakfast such as low fiber or toast-based breakfasts.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that children who ate breakfast every day, particularly those who ate a high fiber breakfast, had lower levels of risk markers for type 2 diabetes than children who rarely ate breakfast. Importantly, the association between eating breakfast and having a favorable type 2 diabetes risk profile remained after allowing for differences in socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, and amount of body fat (adiposity); in observational studies, it is important to allow for the possibility that individuals who share a measured characteristic and a health outcome also share another characteristic (a confounder) that is actually responsible for the outcome. Although trials are needed to establish whether altering the breakfast habits of children can alter their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, these findings are encouraging. Specifically, they suggest that if all the children in England who do not eat breakfast daily could be encouraged to do so, it might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by about 4%. Moreover, encouraging children to eat a high fiber breakfast instead of a low fiber breakfast might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by 11%–12%. Thus, persuading children to eat a high fiber breakfast regularly could be an important component in diabetes preventative strategies in England and potentially worldwide.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001703.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes; Change4Life, a UK campaign that provides tips for healthy living, has a webpage about the importance of a healthy breakfast
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
Kidshealth, a US-based not-for-profit organization provides information for parents about the importance of breakfast and information for children
More information about the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE) is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001703
PMCID: PMC4151989  PMID: 25181492
15.  Do HIV-Positive Women Receive Depression Treatment that Meets Best Practice Guidelines? 
AIDS and behavior  2014;18(6):1094-1102.
This study addressed whether psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment of depressed HIV+ women met standards defined in the best practice literature, and tested hypothesized predictors of standard-concordant care. 1,352 HIV-positive women in the multi-center Women’s Interagency HIV Study were queried about depressive symptoms and mental health service utilization using standards published by the American Psychiatric Association and the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research to define adequate depression treatment. We identified those who: 1) reported clinically significant depressive symptoms (CSDS) using Centers for Epidemiological Studies – Depression Scale (CES-D) scores of ≥ 16; or 2) had lifetime diagnoses of major depressive disorder (MDD) assessed by World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interviews plus concurrent elevated depressive symptoms in the past 12 months. Adequate treatment prevalence was 46.2% (n=84) for MDD and 37.9% (n=211) for CSDS. Multivariable logistic regression analysis found that adequate treatment was more likely among women who saw the same primary care provider consistently, who had poorer role functioning, who paid out-of-pocket for healthcare, and who were not African American or Hispanic/Latina. This suggests that adequate depression treatment may be increased by promoting healthcare provider continuity, outreaching individuals with lower levels of role impairment, and addressing the specific needs and concerns of African American and Hispanic/Latina women.
doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0679-6
PMCID: PMC4020946  PMID: 24402689
Women and HIV; Depression Treatment; Psychopharmacology; Psychotherapy
16.  Correlates of Depressive Symptomatology in African American Breast Cancer Patients 
Purpose
This study assessed the levels of depressive symptomatology in African Americans women with breast cancer compared to those of women without breast cancer and examined demographic, psychosocial, and clinical factors were correlated with depression.
Methods
A total of 152 African American women were recruited from Washington DC and surrounding suburbs. Breast cancer patients (n=76 cases) were recruited from a healthcare center and women without cancer were recruited from health fairs (n=76 comparison). We assessed depression, psychosocial variables (ego strength and social support) and socio-demographic factors from in-person interviews. Stage and clinical factors were abstracted from medical records. Independent sample t-test, chi square test, ANOVA, and multiple regression models were used to identify differences in depression and correlates of depression among the cases and comparison groups.
Results
Women with breast cancer reported significantly greater levels of depression (m=11.5 SD=5.0) than women without breast cancer (m=3.9; SD=3.8) (p<.001). Higher cancer stage (beta=.91) and higher age (beta =.11) were associated with depression in the breast patients, explaining 84% of the variance. In the comparison group, ego strength and tangible support were inversely associated with depressive symptoms, accounting for 32% of the variance.
Conclusions
Women with more advanced disease may require interdisciplinary approaches to cancer care (i.e., caring for the whole person).
Implications for cancer survivors
Depression is often under-recognized and under-treated in African American breast cancer patients. Understanding the factors related to depression is necessary to integrate psychosocial needs to routine cancer care to improve survivors’ quality of life.
doi:10.1007/s11764-013-0273-y
PMCID: PMC3737401  PMID: 23471730
Breast cancer; oncology; depression; African American; ego strength; social support
17.  Discord of Biological and Psychological Measures in a Group of Depressed African American and White Cancer Patients 
The Open Nursing Journal  2011;5:60-64.
Objective:
This study examined racial differences in the self-report of depressive symptoms by reference to biological states.
Methods:
The study used a convenience sample of 20 depressed cancer patients (CES-D ≥16) (15 African Americans and 5 Whites). Subjects completed depression assessment on a battery of psychological measures and provided blood and saliva samples. Laboratory tests were performed on biomarkers (serotonin, cortisol and IL-6). T-test was computed to examine racial differences on biological and psychological measures.
Results:
Depressed Whites had a significantly higher cortisol level than depressed African Americans, but no significant group difference was found on any self-reported psychological measures of depression. There was a trend that African Americans reported fewer depressive symptoms on psychological measures but exceeded Whites on the domain of somatization; however, such group differences did not approach statistic significance in this small sample.
Conclusion:
African Americans did not appear to underreport depression in consideration of their biological states, but had a tendency to report more somatic symptoms than Whites; this may be attributable to non-depression diseases or reporting behavior rather than somatic sensitivity. African Americans exhibited more mistrust in the health care system, which could affect the self-report of depression. There is a discord between biological and psychological measures of depression. Biomarkers prove to be useful for evaluating racial difference in the self-report of depression.
Implication for Nursing:
Nurses should be cautious of somatic complaints when assessing African American cancer patient’s depression. Establishing trust is essential for an accurate assessment of depression in African American cancer patients.
doi:10.2174/1874434601105010060
PMCID: PMC3227875  PMID: 22135714
African American; biomarker; cancer; cortisol; depression; race.
18.  Healthcare Utilization in Women After Abdominal Surgery for Ovarian Cancer 
Nursing research  2011;60(1):47-57.
Background
Women undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer are severely ill and are high users of health services. Contributing to these increased utilization rates are the multiple modalities used to treat ovarian cancer, and the complications and side effects from those treatments.
Objective
To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention provided by advanced practice nurses and a psychiatric consultation-liaison nurse on patients' self-report of health care utilization compared to an attention control intervention in women undergoing surgery for a suspected diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Method
A two-group, experimental, longitudinal design was used to compare women who were assigned randomly to the intervention group or to an attention control group at baseline within 48 hours after surgery and 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery. Healthcare utilization was measured as the number of self-reported inpatient admissions and outpatient visits, including emergency room visits, oncology outpatient visits, and primary care visits. Nurse interventions consisted of 16 contacts: symptom management, counseling, education, direct nursing care, coordination of resources, and referrals. The attention control interventions consisted of 9 contacts that included instructions on use of a symptom management toolkit and strategies on how to manage symptoms.
Results
There were no differences in hospitalizations and oncology outpatient visits between the two groups. The main finding of this study was a significant difference in the number of primary care visits between the two groups. Women in the attention control group went to their primary care providers more often than the intervention group. The women who reported more visits also reported more depressive symptoms. In addition, a trend was found in the number of emergency room visits between the two groups. The intervention group visited the emergency room more often because the nurse instructed patients to go when they recognized symptoms that needed urgent care after hours.
Discussion
Women in the intervention group appropriately used the emergency room to manage their problems after hours, whereas more women in the attention control group reported significantly more primary care visits. These findings highlight the need for health care providers representing various disciplines to coordinate services across specialties, especially for women who have depressive symptoms.
doi:10.1097/NNR.0b013e3181ff77e4
PMCID: PMC4186259  PMID: 21127451
ovarian cancer; advanced practice nurse; health care utilization; coordination of care; primary care; clinical home
19.  Stigma and the Acceptability of Depression Treatments Among African Americans and Whites 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2007;22(9):1292-1297.
BACKGROUND
Stigma is associated with depression treatment, however, whether stigma differs between depression treatment modalities is not known, nor have racial differences in depression treatment stigma been fully explored.
OBJECTIVE
To measure stigma for four depression treatments and estimate its association with treatment acceptability for African Americans and whites.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional, anonymous mailed survey.
PARTICIPANTS
Four hundred and ninety African-American and white primary care patients.
MEASUREMENTS
The acceptability of four depression treatments (prescription medication, mental health counseling, herbal remedy, and spiritual counseling) was assessed using a vignette. Treatment-specific stigma was evaluated by asking whether participants would: (1) feel ashamed; (2) feel comfortable telling friends and family; (3) feel okay if people in their community knew; and (4) not want people at work to know about each depression treatment. Sociodemographics, depression history, and current depressive symptoms were measured.
RESULTS
Treatment-specific stigma was lower for herbal remedy than prescription medication or mental health counseling (p < .01). Whites had higher stigma than African Americans for all treatment modalities. In adjusted analyses, stigma relating to self [AOR 0.43 (0.20–0.95)] and friends and family [AOR 0.42 (0.21–0.88)] was associated with lower acceptability of mental health counseling. Stigma did not account for the lower acceptability of prescription medication among African Americans.
CONCLUSIONS
Treatment associated stigma significantly affects the acceptability of mental health counseling but not prescription medication. Efforts to improve depression treatment utilization might benefit from addressing concerns about stigma of mental health counseling.
doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0276-3
PMCID: PMC2219769  PMID: 17610120
stigma; depression treatment; patient preferences; ethnicity
20.  Effect of an Educational Toolkit on Quality of Care: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001588.
In a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial, Baiju Shah and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of printed educational materials for clinician education focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Printed educational materials for clinician education are one of the most commonly used approaches for quality improvement. The objective of this pragmatic cluster randomized trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational toolkit focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes.
Methods and Findings
All 933,789 people aged ≥40 years with diagnosed diabetes in Ontario, Canada were studied using population-level administrative databases, with additional clinical outcome data collected from a random sample of 1,592 high risk patients. Family practices were randomly assigned to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or May 2010 (control group). The primary outcome in the administrative data study, death or non-fatal myocardial infarction, occurred in 11,736 (2.5%) patients in the intervention group and 11,536 (2.5%) in the control group (p = 0.77). The primary outcome in the clinical data study, use of a statin, occurred in 700 (88.1%) patients in the intervention group and 725 (90.1%) in the control group (p = 0.26). Pre-specified secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control, were also not improved by the intervention. A limitation is the high baseline rate of statin prescribing in this population.
Conclusions
The educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Despite being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement, printed educational materials were not effective. The study highlights the need for a rigorous and scientifically based approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions.
Trial Registration
http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01411865 and NCT01026688
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Clinical practice guidelines help health care providers deliver the best care to patients by combining all the evidence on disease management into specific recommendations for care. However, the implementation of evidence-based guidelines is often far from perfect. Take the example of diabetes. This common chronic disease, which is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood, impairs the quality of life of patients and shortens life expectancy by increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (conditions that affect the heart and circulation) and other life-threatening conditions. Patients need complex care to manage the multiple risk factors (high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high levels of fat in the blood) that are associated with the long-term complications of diabetes, and they need to be regularly screened and treated for these complications. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes provide recommendations on screening and diagnosis, drug treatment, and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, and on helping patients self-manage their disease. Unfortunately, the care delivered to patients with diabetes frequently fails to meet the standards laid down in these guidelines.
Why Was This Study Done?
How can guideline adherence and the quality of care provided to patients be improved? A common approach is to send printed educational materials to clinicians. For example, when the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) updated its clinical practice guidelines in 2008, it mailed educational toolkits that contained brochures and other printed materials targeting key themes from the guidelines to family physicians. In this pragmatic cluster randomized trial, the researchers investigate the effect of the CDA educational toolkit that targeted cardiovascular disease screening and treatment on the quality of care of people with diabetes. A pragmatic trial asks whether an intervention works under real-life conditions and whether it works in terms that matter to the patient; a cluster randomized trial randomly assigns groups of people to receive alternative interventions and compares outcomes in the differently treated “clusters.”
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned family practices in Ontario, Canada to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or in May 2010 (control group). They examined outcomes between July 2009 and April 2010 in all patients with diabetes in Ontario aged over 40 years (933,789 people) using population-level administrative data. In Canada, administrative databases record the personal details of people registered with provincial health plans, information on hospital visits and prescriptions, and physician service claims for consultations, assessments, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. They also examined clinical outcome data from a random sample of 1,592 patients at high risk of cardiovascular complications. In the administrative data study, death or non-fatal heart attack (the primary outcome) occurred in about 11,500 patients in both the intervention and control group. In the clinical data study, the primary outcome―use of a statin to lower blood fat levels―occurred in about 700 patients in both study groups. Secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control were also not improved by the intervention. Indeed, in the administrative data study, some processes of care outcomes related to screening for heart disease were statistically significantly worse in the intervention group than in the control group, and in the clinical data study, fewer patients in the intervention group reached blood pressure targets than in the control group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the CDA cardiovascular diseases educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Indeed, the toolkit may have led to worsening in some secondary outcomes although, because numerous secondary outcomes were examined, this may be a chance finding. Limitations of the study include its length, which may have been too short to see an effect of the intervention on clinical outcomes, and the possibility of a ceiling effect—the control group in the clinical data study generally had good care, which left little room for improvement of the quality of care in the intervention group. Overall, however, these findings suggest that printed educational materials may not be an effective way to improve the quality of care for patients with diabetes and other complex conditions and highlight the need for a rigorous, scientific approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001588.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health care professionals, and the general public (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including some personal stories) for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes, the commonest form of diabetes
The Canadian Diabetes Association also provides information about diabetes for patients (including some personal stories about living with diabetes) and health care professionals; its latest clinical practice guidelines are available on its website
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides general information about clinical guidelines and about health care quality standards in the UK
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aims to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans (information in English and Spanish); the US National Guideline Clearinghouse is a searchable database of clinical practice guidelines
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about diabetes for patients and health care professionals, along with international statistics on the burden of diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001588
PMCID: PMC3913553  PMID: 24505216
21.  ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION IN PATIENTS WITH ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE 
American heart journal  2008;157(1):77-83.
Objective
To examine ethnic differences in depressive symptoms and antidepressant treatment in a cohort of patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography.
Background
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality in the US, with an excess of mortality in African Americans. Traditional risk factors occur more frequently among African Americans but do not fully account for this increased risk. Elevated depressive symptoms have been shown to be associated with higher morbidity and mortality in CHD patients.
Methods
A consecutive series of 864 patients (727 Caucasians, 137 African Americans) completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess depressive symptoms. Data describing cardiovascular risk factors and type of medications including antidepressants were obtained from chart review at the time of study enrollment.
Results
There was no difference in the severity of depressive symptoms between Caucasians (p =.50); the prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms also was similar for African Americans (35%) and Caucasians (27%) (p =.20). However, the rate of antidepressant use was 21% for Caucasians but only 11.7% for African Americans (p =.016). The odds ratio for ethnicity (African American vs. Caucasian) in predicting antidepressant use was 0.43 (95% CI=0.24–0.76, p=0.004) after adjustment for BDI scores.
Conclusions
African Americans with CHD are less likely to be treated with anti-depressant medications compared to Caucasians, despite having similar levels of depression. The ethnic differences in the psychopharmacological management of depression suggests that more careful assessment of depression, especially in African Americans, is necessary to optimize care of patients with CHD.
doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2008.08.013
PMCID: PMC2626410  PMID: 19081400
African-Americans; depression; coronary disease; ethnicity
22.  Utilization of specialty mental health care among persons with severe mental illness: the roles of demographics, need, insurance, and risk. 
Health Services Research  2000;35(1 Pt 2):277-292.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the sociodemographic, need, risk, and insurance characteristics of persons with severe mental illness and the importance of these characteristics for predicting specialty mental health utilization among this group. DATA SOURCE: The Healthcare for Communities survey, a national study that tracks alcohol, drug, and mental health services utilization. Data come from a telephone survey of adults from 60 communities across the United States, and from a supplemental geographically dispersed sample. STUDY DESIGN: Respondents were categorized as having a severe mental disorder, other mental disorder, or no measured mental disorder. Differences among groups in sociodemographics (gender, marital status, race, education, and income), insurance coverage, need for mental health care (symptoms and perceived need), and risk indicators (suicide ideation, criminal involvement, and aggressive behavior) are examined. Measures of service use for mental health care include emergency room, inpatient, and specialty outpatient care. The importance of sociodemographics, need, insurance status, and risk indicators for specialty mental health care utilization are examined through logistic regression. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The severely mentally ill in this study are disproportionately African American, unmarried, male, less educated, and have lower family incomes than those with other disorders and those with no measured mental disorders. In a 12-month period almost three-fifths of persons with severe mental illness did not receive specialty mental health care. One in five persons with severe mental illness are uninsured, and Medicare or Medicaid insures 37 percent. Persons covered by these public programs are over six times more likely to have access to specialty care than the uninsured are. Involvement in the criminal justice system also increases the probability that a person will receive care by a factor of about four, independent of level of need. The average number of outpatient visits for specialty care varies little across type of disorder, and the median number of visits (ten) is equivalent for those with a severe mental illness and those with other disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Persons with severe mental illness have a high level of economic and social disadvantage. Barriers to care, including lack of insurance, are substantial and many do not receive specialty care. Public insurance programs are the major points of leverage for improving access, and policy interventions should be targeted to these programs. Problems of adequate care for the severely mentally ill may be exacerbated by the managed care trend to reductions in intensity of treatment.
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PMCID: PMC1089101  PMID: 10778815
23.  Racial Differences in Medication Adherence: A Cross-Sectional Study of Medicare Enrollees 
Background
Racial differences in adherence to prescribed medication regimens have been reported among the elderly. It remains unclear, however, whether these differences persist after controlling for confounding variables.
Objective
The objective of this study was to determine whether racial differences in medication adherence between African American and white seniors persist after adjusting for demographic characteristics, health literacy, depression, and social support. We hypothesized that differences in adherence between the 2 races would be eliminated after adjusting for confounding variables.
Methods
A survey on medication adherence was conducted using face-to-face interviews with Medicare recipients ≥65 years of age living in Chicago. Participants had to have good hearing and vision and be able to speak English to enable them to respond to questions in the survey and sign the informed-consent form. Medication adherence measures included questions about: (1) running out of medications before refilling the prescriptions; (2) following physician instructions on how to take medications; and (3) forgetting to take medications. Individual crude odds ratios (CORs) were calculated for the association between race and medication adherence. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) were calculated using the following covariates in multivariate logistic regression analyses: race; age; sex; living with a spouse, partner, or significant other; income; Medicaid benefits; prescription drug coverage; having a primary care physician; history of hypertension or diabetes; health status; health literacy; depression; and social support.
Results
Six hundred thirty-three eligible cases were identified. Of the 489 patients who responded to the survey, 450 (266 African American [59%; mean age, 78.2 years] and 184 white [41%; mean age, 76.8 years]; predominantly women) were included in the sample. The overall response rate for the survey was 77.3%. African Americans were more likely than whites to report running out of medications before refilling them (COR = 3.01; 95% CI, 1.72–5.28) and not always following physician instructions on how to take medications (COR = 2.64; 95% CI, 1.50–4.64). However, no significant difference between the races was observed in forgetting to take medications (COR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.61–1.31). In adjusted analyses, race was no longer associated with low adherence due to refilling (AOR = 1.60; 95% CI, 0.74–3.42). However, race remained associated with not following physician instructions on how to take medications after adjusting for confounding variables (AOR = 2.49; 95% CI, 1.07–5.80).
Conclusion
Elderly African Americans reported that they followed physician instructions on how to take medications less frequently than did elderly whites, even after adjusting for differences in demographic characteristics, health literacy, depression, and social support.
doi:10.1016/j.amjopharm.2010.03.002
PMCID: PMC3740123  PMID: 20439063
medication adherence; African American; health disparities; aged
24.  Duloxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder: comparisons of safety and efficacy. 
BACKGROUND: Pooled data from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies were utilized to compare the safety and efficacy of duloxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in African-American and Caucasian patients. METHODS: Efficacy and safety data were pooled from seven double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of duloxetine. Patients (aged > or =18 years) meeting DSM-IV criteria for MDD received duloxetine (40-120 mg/day; African Americans, N=69; Caucasians, N=748) or placebo (African Americans, N=59; Caucasians, N=594) for up to nine weeks. Efficacy measures included the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD17) total score, the Clinical Global Impression of Severity (CGI-S) and Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I) scales, and Visual Analog Scales (VAS) for pain. Safety was assessed using discontinuation rates, spontaneously reported treatment-emergent adverse events, vital signs and laboratory analyses, RESULTS: Based upon mean changes in HAMD17, CGI-S and PGI-I scales, the magnitude of duloxetine's treatment effects did not differ significantly between African-American and Caucasian patients. Discontinuation rates due to adverse events among duloxetine-treated patients were 13.0% for African Americans and 17.0% for Caucasians. No adverse event led to discontinuation in more than one African-American patient. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events in both ethnic groups included nausea, headache, constipation, dizziness and insomnia. The rate of occurrence of these events did not differ significantly between African-American and Caucasian patients. Mean changes from baseline for pulse, blood pressure, weight and laboratory analytes were small and showed no significant differences between African-American and Caucasian patients. CONCLUSION: In this analysis of data from seven clinical trials, no convincing evidence was found to suggest that the overall safety and tolerability profile or the efficacy profile for duloxetine in this cohort of African-American patients differed from that observed in a comparator group of Caucasian patients. The results from these analyses provide supportive evidence for the efficacy and safety of duloxetine in the treatment of MDD in African-American patients.
PMCID: PMC2576123  PMID: 16573311
25.  SHS-Related Pediatric Sick Visits are Linked to Maternal Depressive Symptoms among Low-Income African American Smokers: An Opportunity for Intervention in Pediatrics 
Journal of child and family studies  2012;22(7):1013-1021.
Maternal smoking and depressive symptoms are independently linked to poor child health outcomes. However, little is known about factors that may predict maternal depressive symptoms among low-income, African American maternal smokers - an understudied population with children known to have increased morbidity and mortality risks. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe)-related pediatric sick visits are associated with significant maternal depressive symptoms among low-income, African American maternal smokers in the context of other depression-related factors. Prior to randomization in a behavioral counseling trial to reduce child SHSe, 307 maternal smokers in Philadelphia completed the CES-D and questionnaires measuring stressful events, nicotine dependence, social support, child health and demographics. CES-D was dichotomized at the clinical cutoff to differentiate mothers with significant vs. low depressive symptoms. Results from direct entry logistic regression demonstrated that maternal smokers reporting more than one SHSe-related sick visit (OR 1.38, p<.001), greater perceived life stress (OR 1.05, p<.001) and less social support (OR 0.82, p<.001) within the last 3 months were more likely to report significant depressive symptoms than mothers with fewer clinic visits, less stress, and greater social support. These results suggest opportunities for future hypothesis-driven evaluation, and exploration of intervention strategies in pediatric primary care. Maternal depression, smoking and child illness may present as a reciprocally-determined phenomenon that points to the potential utility of treating one chronic maternal condition to facilitate change in the other chronic condition, regardless of which primary presenting problem is addressed. Future longitudinal research could attempt to confirm this hypothesis.
doi:10.1007/s10826-012-9663-4
PMCID: PMC3856861  PMID: 24339721
Maternal depression; depressive symptoms; smoking; child health; low-income; minority

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