Depression and the Use of Conventional and Nonconventional Interventions by Rural Patients

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Depression is a serious condition that is often ignored or overlooked by health care professionals. Improvement in the recognition, treatment, and prevention of this disease is a public health priority, especially in rural areas.


The purposes of this study were (a) to determine if participants in rural areas from four subgroups—patients with breast cancer, caregivers, patients with myocardial infarction, and patients who have had a stroke—were depressed, and (b) to compare and identify conventional and nonconventional interventions being implemented for depression.


A comparative descriptive design was used. Using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Index, the authors questioned 120 participants.


Forty-four (37%) of the participants in this study reported depression; 70% were not being treated with antidepressants. Unemployment and marital status were significant predictors of depression. No differences among groups were identified in the treatment of depression.


Health care providers should be aware that screening and treatment for depression are necessary, especially in rural areas where isolation, poverty, and lack of mental health services are common.

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