Project Title/Research Interests: Reducing the Burden of Chronic Depression Among Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations.

Improving the access to and quality of mental health services is a critical step in the reduction and elimination of the burden of Major Depressive Disorder. For example, up to one-third of the illness burden of depression can be attributed to poor access to care and the ineffective or inefficient delivery of services. Initiatives to improve the quality and efficient delivery of care are particularly important for improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities.

There are wide disparities in the availability and quality of mental health services for adults with depression. Such disparities may contribute to elevated rates of chronic depression among some racial/ethnic minority populations. However there are few studies which have examined this issue directly. This project will examine disparities in the prevalence, impairment, and treatment of chronic depression among a large, racially and ethnically diverse sample of adults. My research calls upon theory and tools from epidemiology, psychiatry, psychology, and health services research. Study findings will be used to provide insights into best practices for effective and efficient primary care screening and points of treatment intervention for depressed racial/ethnic populations.