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Characteristics of Community Programs to Decrease Depression in Latinas

Alison Mann, EdD, RN, Department of Nursing, New Mexico State University, PO box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003 and Alexandra A. Garcia, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701, 512-232-4721, alexgarcia@mail.utexas.edu.

We used four focus groups to explore how Latinas (n=23) in rural New Mexico deal with depression and determine what types of community interventions Latinas would prefer to use. Depression is a major concern for Latinas (Azocar, Arean, Miranda, & Munoz, 2001). Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression (Kessler et al, 1994; Weissman & Olfson, 1995), and Mexico-born Latinas women report more depressive symptoms than their male counterparts and US-born men and women (Mendes de Leon & Markides, 1988). Furthermore, depression in immigrant women may be underreported (Fox, Burns, Popovich, & Ilg, 2001), and rural women with emotional problems are at a major disadvantage because of limited access to care, poor resources and traditional cultural belief systems (Letvak, 2002). Focus groups with underserved populations can elicit useful data and empower participants to help themselves and others. Two groups were held in Spanish and two in English. Transcripts were analyzed to identify patterns in and across the groups. In particular, the participants identified particular problems of loneliness, isolation, boredom, and mistrust of health care practitioners. The Latinas expressed clear preferences for vocational training and activity groups, groups without men, and counseling groups led by professionals. Some essential factors for participation in community interventions include childcare, language compatibility, transportation, proximity to home, and time of intervention. This study forms the basis for an intervention aimed at helping Latinas manage depression. Public health practitioners who work with Latinas may choose to adapt these findings to other settings. This study was supported by the Southwest Partnership Center for Research on Health Disparities in Underserved Populations at The University of Texas at Austin and New Mexico State University.

Learning Objectives: After participating in the presentation, the learner will be able to

Keywords: Latinas, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Economic Disparities

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA