Depressed Parents’ Treatment Needs And Children’s Problems In An Urban Family Medicine Practice

Vidair, Hilary B; Boccia, Angelo S; Johnson, Jeffrey G; Verdeli, Helen; Wickramaratne, Priya; Klink, Kathleen A; Softness, Anita M; Dominguez-Rafer, Carmen; Younge, Richard G; Weissman, Myrna M.

Objective: The study examined interest in treatment and treatment preferences and obstacles of low-income depressed parents.

Methods: A total of 273 primarily low-income, Hispanic parents of children aged seven to 17 attending an urban family medicine practice agreed to complete a survey by interview or self-report, including screening diagnoses and treatment history. Three groups were compared: major, subthreshold, and no depression.

Results: Nearly one-third had major (9%) or sub-threshold depression (23%), and many in the depressed groups reported recent treatment (50% and 31%, respectively). Parents with any depression were significantly more likely than nondepressed parents to report interest in receiving help, endorse treatment obstacles, and report children’s problems.

Conclusions: High rates of personal and child problems, interest in treatment, and treatment obstacles among low-income, depressed parents highlight the need to develop acceptable mental health services for them and their children, even when parents do not meet full diagnostic criteria for depression.


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Psychiatric Services

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February 1, 2022