Depression Screening at a Community Health Fair: Descriptives and Treatment Linkage


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Abstract

OBJECTIVEHealth fairs are a cost-efficient platform for dissemination of preventive services to vulnerable populations. Effectiveness of depression screenings and associated treatment linkage via community health fairs warrants investigation.METHODSThis study offers the first examination of a depression screening at a community health fair in 261 adult men (18–87 years). The PHQ-9 was administered via interview by graduate students and on-site psychiatric nurses were available for a brief consultation for those interested.RESULTSOver a quarter of participants screened positive for at least moderate depressive symptomatology. Of those who screened positive, 35.8% met with an on-site psychiatric nurse for a consultation. At six-month follow-up, none of the participants given a referral made an appointment at the community mental health agency.CONCLUSIONThis suggests the importance of providing on-site clinician consultations at health fairs and the need for a more coordinated system to schedule future appointments while at the event.IMPACT STATEMENTCommunity health fairs reach vulnerable populations, such as those who are uninsured and who have not spoken with a professional about mental health concerns. By conducting depression screening and providing onsite access to a mental health consultation at community health fairs, participants are better able to identify their depressive symptoms and are introduced to ways to treat depression.HihglightsThis study offers the first examination of a depression screening at a community health fair in 261 adult men (18–87 years).Over a quarter of participants screened positive for at least moderate depressive symptomatology.Of those who screened positive for depression about 40% had never discussed their mental health concerns with a professional.By conducting depression screening and providing onsite access to a mental health consultation at community health fairs, participants are better able to identify their depressive symptoms and are introduced to ways to treat depression.

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