170303 Serious psychological distress in the Texas border region

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:05 PM

Michelle L. Cook, MPH , Center for Health Statistics, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX
Vincent Fonseca, MD, MPH , State Epidemiologist, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX
Yuridia Orozco, MC/MFT , Public Health Improvement, Texas Department of State Health Services - HSR 9/10, El Paso, TX
Mental illness is a leading cause of burden and can reduce health related quality of life, decrease adherence to medical treatment plans, and increase health risk behaviors. According to the 2006 National Health Interview Survey, 3.0% of adults aged 18 years and older in the United States experienced serious psychological distress (SPD) during the past 30 days. To provide reliable border estimates, the 2007 Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System sampled additional respondents in the international border region 32 counties within 100 kilometers along the Mexico border. Preliminary data indicates that 7.6% of adults along the border experienced SPD compared to 4.7% of those living elsewhere in the state. The prevalence among non-Hispanic whites in the border region was 12.0% compared to 3.6% in the non-border region. Among those living in the border region, only 45.1% who reported SPD were taking medicine or receiving treatment from a doctor for any type of mental health condition or emotional problem. Border residents were more likely to report five or more days in which a mental health condition or emotional problem kept them from doing their work or other usual activities than those who did not live in the border region (8.9% vs. 5.5%). The prevalence of SPD is significantly higher in the border region, especially for whites. Interventions to prevent the onset of SPD and screening for specific disorders should be implemented in the border region.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System as a primary resource for information about health in the border region. Define serious psychological distress. Describe the burden of serious psychological distress in the Texas border region.

Keywords: Psychiatric Epidemiology, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist with extensive experience in survey design and analysis. I have worked with the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data for nearly five years and have been a BRFSS Coordinator for four years in two different states.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Psychiatric Epidemiology
See more of: Epidemiology