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Disparities in mental health diagnosis and treatment still occur

Disparities in mental health diagnosis and treatment still occur
21st December 2011

Disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of depression are still present, according to a recent American study.

Rutgers researchers found that African Americans were significantly less likely to receive a depression diagnosis from a health care provider than were non-Hispanic whites.

Moreover, those diagnosed where less likely to actually receive treatment for their condition.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Ayse Akincigil, lead author on the study, stated: "Vigorous clinical and public health initiatives are needed to address this persisting disparity in care."

"If untreated or undertreated, depression can significantly diminish quality of life," she continued, explaining that 6.6 per cent of older adults in America experience episodes of depression each year.

Although the study was based on American participants, Rutgers' findings raise worrying questions that may benefit from being taken up by British researchers.

Ensuring that all sectors have access to timely mental health diagnostics and treatment is vital to combat the UK's growing mental health problem.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.