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

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Health 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.


This 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.


Over 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.


This 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.


Community 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.

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