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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Low-income rural women experiencing depressive symptoms: Characteristics associated with self-reporting

Leigh Ann Simmons, PhD, Family Studies and Health Services Management, University of Kentucky, 305-A Funkhouser Building, Mail Sort 0054, Lexington, KY 40506-0054, 859-257-1648, leighann@uky.edu, Ann A. Berry, PhD, MBA, Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Tennessee, 218 Morgan Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-4501, Catherine Huddleston-Casas, PhD, Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 132 Mabel Lee Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0236, and Patricia H. Dyk, PhD, Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky, 500 Garrigus Building, Lexington, KY 40546-0215.

Background/Significance: Research demonstrates that despite the high prevalence of depression among rural women, the stigma associated with mental disorders reduces the likelihood of self-reporting depression. Objective/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics of self-reporters within a sample of rural women experiencing depressive symptoms. Methods: Data were from Rural Families Speak (RFS), a multi-state study of low-income, rural women in the U.S. Data from RFS participants experiencing depressive symptoms as defined by CES-D scores exceeding 15 (N=219) were analyzed to determine correlates of self-reporting depression upon direct examination (i.e., Do you have depression?). Variables included demographics, physical health problems, injuries or illnesses in the last year, recent pregnancy, substance use, health insurance status, and social support. Chi-square and multiple logistic regression were utilized. Results: Participants were between 18 and 48 years; 47.5% self-reported no depression and 52.5% self-reported depression. Compared to women not reporting depression, women who reported depression were significantly likelier to report physical health problems, smoking, permanent disability, and injury or illness in the last year, controlling for demographic variables. Women who self-reported no depression were significantly likelier to have been pregnant in the previous three years. No differences were found on health insurance, other substance use, or social support. Discussion/Conclusions: Poor, rural women experiencing depressive symptoms who have other health problems likely have more exposure to the healthcare system and thus knowledge about depressive symptomotology. Public health campaigns should educate rural residents about depressive symptoms, including postpartum depression, to reduce stigma and increase treatment-seeking behaviors.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Rural Populations, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Health Disparities among Minority Women

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA