Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder across Rural Populations

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project completed:
August 2005

Because virtually all rural counties are mental health (MH) professional shortage areas, rural residents with MH problems may be less likely to receive services than persons with better access. The purpose of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of two common problems, depression and generalized anxiety disorder, across rural populations, and to identify rural-urban disparities in the receipt of care for these conditions.

The study will accomplish the following:

  • Estimate the prevalence of depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) among rural populations, including prevalence among racial/ethnic minorities
  • Estimate the proportion of persons with depression or GAD who experience significant effects from these conditions.
  • Estimate the proportion of persons with depression or GAD who seek professional help for the condition.

Publications

  • Depression in Rural Populations: Prevalence, Effects on Life Quality, And Treatment-Seeking Behavior
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2005
    The authors found the prevalence of major depression was higher among rural than among urban populations. Nearly all individuals scoring positive for depression reported their symptoms interfered with their life/activities. Persons without health insurance were less likely to have talked with a physician than were the privately/publicly insured.
  • Depression in Rural Populations: Prevalence, Effects on Life Quality, and Treatment-Seeking Behavior
    Fact Sheet
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 2005
    To explore the prevalence of selected mental health diagnoses across rural populations, including rural minority residents, they studied information obtained by the 1999 National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative survey of more than 30,000 adults.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Depression Prevalence: Implications for Family Medicine
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2006
    Examined the prevalence of depression in rural vs. urban areas. An estimated 2.6 million rural adults suffer from depression. The unadjusted prevalence of depression was significantly higher among rural than urban populations. After adjusting for rural/urban population characteristics, the odds of depression did not differ by residence.