What’s Behind the Depression Treatment Gap?
According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, many people who screen positive for depression are not receiving treatment for the disorder. This study confirms previous research. The lowest percentages of people with depression who are getting treatment are among uninsured adults, racial minorities, and men, according to the study authors.
The study involved 46,417 adults who participated in the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys in 2012 and 2013. About 8.4 percent of people tested positive for depression and of those, 28.7 percent received treatment.
In total, more than 8 percent of study participants were treated for depression, regardless of depression screening results. In those who received treatment—including antidepressants and psychotherapy—almost 30 percent screened positive for depression and about 22 percent had serious psychological distress. Most people were treated by their primary care physicians, while many of those with severe distress were treated by psychiatrists.
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