Variations in depression care and outcomes among high-risk mothers from different racial/ethnic groups

Hsiang Huang, Ya Fen Chan, Wayne Katon, Karen Tabb, Nida Sieu, Amy M. Bauer, Jessica Knaster Wasse, Jürgen Unützer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To examine variations in depression care and outcomes among high-risk pregnant and parenting women from different racial/ethnic groups served in community health centres.Methods. As part of a collaborative care programme that provides depression treatment in primary care clinics for high-risk mothers, 661 women with probable depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 ≥ 10), who self-reported race/ethnicity as Latina (n = 393), White (n = 126), Black (n = 75) or Asian (n = 67), were included in the study. Primary outcomes include quality of depression care and improvement in depression. A Cox proportional hazard model adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics was used to examine time to treatment response.Results. We observed significant differences in both depression processes and outcomes across ethnic groups. After adjusting for other variables, Blacks were found to be significantly less likely to improve than Latinas [hazard ratio (HR): 0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.44-0.65]. Other factors significantly associated with depression improvement were pregnancy (HR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.27-1.82), number of clinic visits (HR: 1.26, 95% CI: 1.17-1.36) and phone contacts (HR: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.32-1.60) by the care manager in the first month of treatment. After controlling for depression severity, having suicidal thoughts at baseline was significantly associated with a decreased likelihood of depression improvement (HR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.67-0.83).Conclusions. In this racially and ethnically diverse sample of pregnant and parenting women treated for depression in primary care, the intensity of care management was positively associated with improved depression. There was also appreciable variation in depression outcomes between Latina and Black patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative care
  • Depression care
  • Mental health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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