Clinical Presentations of Major Depression by African Americans and Whites in Primary Medical Care Practice
This study compared the psychiatric history and presenting clinical characteristics of 119 African American and 153 white patients assessed for and participating in a randomized control trial of treatments for major depression in primary care practice. African Americans and whites participated equally in the assessment process, and both groups presented with similar psychiatric treatment histories, severity of depression, level of psychosocial functioning, and severity of medical illness. However, racial differences were evident in the comorbidity of psychiatric disorders, severity of somatic symptoms, self-reported physical functioning, life stress, and health beliefs. Implications for the recognition of depression in African American primary care patients are discussed.