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1.  Attitudes and beliefs about mental health among African American older adults suffering from depression 
Journal of aging studies  2010;24(4):266-277.
Depression among older adults is a major public health concern leading to increased disability and mortality. Less than 3% of older adults utilize professional mental health services for the treatment of depression, less than any other adult age group. And despite similar rates of depression, African Americans are significantly less likely to seek, engage and be retained in professional mental health services than their white counterparts. Cultural differences in the way depression symptoms are manifested, defined, interpreted and labeled may in part explain some of these racial differences in help-seeking behaviors. Focus group methodology was utilized to identify and explore attitudes and beliefs about depression and mental health treatment utilization among 42 older African Americans who had recently suffered a major depressive episode. Thematic analysis of identified six overarching themes: (a) perceptions of depression, (b) the African American experience, (c) seeking treatment as a last resort, (d) myths about treatment, (e) stigma associated with seeking treatment and (f) culturally appropriate coping strategies. We discuss implications for practice, education and research.
doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2010.05.007
PMCID: PMC3060786  PMID: 21423819
Aging; Depression; Stigma; Treatment
2.  Barriers to treatment and culturally endorsed coping strategies among depressed African-American older adults 
Aging & mental health  2010;14(8):971-983.
Objective
Older adults are particularly vulnerable to the effects of depression, however, they are less likely to seek and engage in mental health treatment. African-American older adults are even less likely than their White counterparts to seek and engage in mental health treatment. This qualitative study examined the experience of being depressed among African-American elders and their perceptions of barriers confronted when contemplating seeking mental health services. In addition, we examined how coping strategies are utilized by African-American elders who choose not to seek professional mental health services.
Method
A total of 37 interviews were conducted with African-American elders endorsing at least mild symptoms of depression. Interviews were audiotaped and subsequently transcribed. Content analysis was utilized to analyze the qualitative data.
Results
Thematic analysis of the interviews with African-American older adults is presented within three areas: (1) Beliefs about Depression Among Older African-Americans: (2) Barriers to Seeking Treatment for Older African-Americans: and (3) Cultural Coping Strategies for Depressed African-American Older Adults.
Conclusion
Older African-Americans in this study identified a number of experiences living in the Black community that impacted their treatment seeking attitudes and behaviors. which led to identification and utilization of more culturally endorsed coping strategies to deal with their depression. Findings from this study provide a greater understanding of the stigma associated with having a mental illness and its influence on attitudes toward mental health services.
doi:10.1080/13607863.2010.501061
PMCID: PMC3060025  PMID: 21069603
depression; beliefs/attitudes; health service use; stigma; aging
3.  Daily temporal self-care responses to osteoarthritis symptoms by older African Americans and whites 
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis and is among the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States. Because there is no known cure for OA, treatment is directed towards the alleviation of pain, improving function, and limiting disability. The major burden of care falls on the individual, who tailors personal systems of care to alleviate troublesome symptoms. To date, little has been known about the temporal variations in self-care that older patients with OA develop, nor has it been known to what extent self-care patterns vary with ethnicity and disease severity. This study was designed to demonstrate the self-care strategies used by older African Americans and whites to alleviate the symptoms of OA on a typical day and during specific segments of a typical day over the past 30 days. A sample of 551 older adults participated in in-depth interviews, and the authors clustered their responses into six categories. Findings showed that the frequency of particular behaviors varied by time of day, disease severity, and race. Overall, patterns of self-care behaviors were similar between African-Americans and whites, but African-Americans used them in different proportions than whites and in response to disease severity. Knowledge of what strategies persons with OA use to lessen their symptoms at various times of the day may enable practitioners and their patients to improve management of OA symptoms. Recognition that people may choose their strategies to ameliorate their symptoms by race and disease severity may further enable tailored symptom relief.
doi:10.1007/s10823-008-9082-6
PMCID: PMC2587526  PMID: 18841454
African-Americans; osteoarthritis; self-care; chronic disease

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