Objectives: To describe the characteristics of depressed versus nondepressed women with disabilities. Design: Survey. Setting: Women were recruited through private and public health clinics and various community organizations. Participants: A sample of 443 predominantly ethnic-minority women, ages 18 to 83 years, with physical disabilities. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Results: Approximately half (51%) of the sample had scores in the mildly depressed range or higher on the BDI-II. Women classified as depressed were more likely to have multiple sclerosis, to be younger, or to have a shorter duration of disability. Only 44% of the women with scores exceeding the BDI-II cutoff for significant depressive symptomatology had received recent treatment for depression, with Hispanic women being the least likely to report receiving treatment. Depressed women reported significantly more health conditions, reflecting common symptoms of depression, conditions linked with depression in the general population, conditions known to be secondary to the primary condition, and conditions known to be common side effects of medications. Depression was not related to functional limitations. Conclusions: Depression is a serious mental health problem facing many women with physical disabilities that does not appear to be adequately addressed by health care professionals.
- Disabled persons
- Women's health