Depression in Rural Populations: Prevalence, Effects on Life Quality, and Treatment-Seeking Behavior


Using the National Health Interview Survey and the NHIS-administered depression scale from the Comprehensive International Diagnostic Interview to explore depression among rural versus urban residents, the authors found that the prevalence of major depression was significantly higher among rural (6.11%) than among urban (5.16%) populations. However, nearly all individuals scoring positive for depression reported that their symptoms interfered with their life or activities (46.67% rural, 44.25% urban). Persons without any health insurance were less likely to have communicated with a physician than were the privately or publicly insured. Additionally, the likelihood that an individual with depression would have communicated with a practitioner rose as the person's self reported health declined.

Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Janice Probst, Sarah Laditka, Charity Moore, Nusrat Harun, M. Paige Powell