The objective of this study was to determine the association of race (black and white) with depression diagnosis and antidepressant use among older home health care patients.
Cross-sectional data were obtained from the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey of patients 65 years and older (N=3,157). Data were analyzed by race, antidepressant use, and charted depression diagnosis.
Whites had greater odds than blacks of receiving a depression diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=4.46, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.52−13.09). Whites with no depression diagnosis were also more likely to receive an antidepressant (AOR=2.62, CI=1.58−4.36); however, the difference in receipt of an antidepressant between whites and blacks with a depression diagnosis was not significant.
Older blacks were less likely than older whites to receive antidepressants, independent of a depression diagnosis. This finding suggests that older blacks with depression in home health care may face two disparities relative to whites: underdiagnosis and undertreatment of depression. (Psychiatric Services 63:827–829, 2012; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201100233)