Rural older adults' mental health: Status andchallenges in care delivery
National Center for Rural Health Professions, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, Rockford, Illinois, USA. . Rural and remote health
(Impact Factor: 0.88).
Health disparities remain a challenge in rural populations, with mental health care especially challenging as the proportion of older adults continues to increase worldwide. This study examined the mental health service needs of, and use by, independently living rural older adults, with a focus on depression.
Older adults (#8805; 50 years) were asked to complete a survey.
There were 150 respondents: 29% were between the ages of 50 and 64 years and 71% were 65 years and older. On a composite variable, 23.3% were at-risk for depression. One-half to two-thirds reported awareness of local mental health services, but nearly three-quarters never used these. Barriers to effective treatment of depression included stress, healthcare costs, and denial/fear of depression. There was an 'avoidance' factor in depression diagnosis and management.
Older adults in rural communities experiencing depression pose a problem. Strategies are needed to overcome multiple barriers to effective diagnosis and treatment. There is a need to better understand the role of stress in older adults' lives. It is especially important for primary care providers and the local community to organize resources to allow for more time to be spent with older adults with mental health problems.
Available from: Alvaro Camacho
- "Additionally, this study shows the improvement of depressive symptoms over time by delivering the culturally tailored problem solving therapeutic intervention. The use of behavioral interventions has been advocated to improve mental health in underserved communities (Bocker et al. 2012). Additionally, studies have previously reported that supportive therapeutic interventions by non-medical workers adequately address symptoms of depression, especially around the post-partum period (McComish et al. 2013). "
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ABSTRACT: The present study investigated whether a culturally-tailored problem-solving intervention delivered by a trained depression care specialist (DCS) would improve depressive symptoms over a 6 month period among Hispanic/Latino patients in a federally-qualified community health center by the California-Mexico border. Participants included 189 low income Hispanic/Latino patients of Mexican heritage. Based on the improving mood-promoting access to collaborative treatment (IMPACT) evidence-based treatment, patients received evidence-based problem-solving therapy. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was administered to assess changes in self-reported depressive symptoms between baseline and monthly for a 6-month follow up period. The majority of participants were female (72.5 %) with a mean age of 52.5 (SD = 11.7). The mean PHQ-9 at baseline was 16.9 (SD = 4.0) and at the 6-month follow-up, the average PHQ-9 decreased to 9.9 (SD = 5.7). A linear mixed model analysis showed significant improvement in PHQ-9 scores over a 6 month period (F = 124.1; p < 0.001) after controlling for age, gender, smoking and diabetes. There was a significant three way interaction between time, gender and smoking (p = 0.01) showing that the depressive symptoms among male smokers did not improve as much as non-smoking males and females. Results suggest that a culturally-tailored problem solving approach can significantly reduce depressive symptoms among Hispanic/Latino low-income patients.
Available from: David E Goodrich
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ABSTRACT: Collaborative care models (CCMs) provide a pragmatic strategy to deliver integrated mental health and medical care for persons with mental health conditions served in primary care settings. CCMs are team-based intervention to enact system-level redesign by improving patient care through organizational leadership support, provider decision support, and clinical information systems, as well as engaging patients in their care through self-management support and linkages to community resources. The model is also a cost-efficient strategy for primary care practices to improve outcomes for a range of mental health conditions across populations and settings. CCMs can help achieve integrated care aims underhealth care reform yet organizational and financial issues may affect adoption into routine primary care. Notably, successful implementation of CCMs in routine care will require alignment of financial incentives to support systems redesign investments, reimbursements for mental health providers, and adaptation across different practice settings and infrastructure to offer all CCM components.
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ABSTRACT: The degree of health disparities present in rural communities is of growing concern and is considered "urgent" since rural residents lag behind their urban counterparts in health status. Understanding the prevalence and type of chronic diseases in rural communities is often difficult since Americans living in rural areas are reportedly less likely to have access to quality health care, although there are some exceptions. Data suggest that rural residents are more likely to engage in higher levels of behavioral and health risk-taking than urban residents, and newer evidence suggests that there are differences in health risk behavior within rural subgroups. The objective of this report is to characterize the prevalence of four major and costly chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and arthritis) and putative risk factors including depressive symptoms within an understudied rural region of the United States. These four chronic conditions remain among the most common and preventable of health problems across the United States.
Using survey data (N = 2526), logistic regression models were used to assess the association of the outcome and risk factors adjusting for age, gender, and race.
Key findings are (1) Lower financial security was associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes, but not cancer. (2) Higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes. (3) Former or current smoking was associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cancer. (4) Blacks reported higher prevalence of diabetes than Whites; Black women were more likely to report diabetes than all other groups; prevalence of diabetes was greater among women with lower education than among women with higher education. (5) Overall, the prevalence of diabetes and arthritis was higher than that reported by Florida and national data.
The findings presented in this paper are derived from one of only a few studies examining patterns of chronic disease among residents of both a rural and lower income geographic region. Overall, the prevalence of these conditions compared to the state and nation as a whole is elevated and calls for increased attention and tailored public health interventions.
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