Surviving Depression: Clinical Qualitative Analysis of Long-Term Survival for Ethnically Diverse, Depressed Patients

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Abstract

Depression is persistent and recurrent across ethnic groups. Few narrative analyses of long-term outcomes for ethnically diverse adults with depression exist. We combined 9 years of quantitative data, qualitative interviews at 10 years, clinician ratings of outcomes, and a community discussion group with the objective of describing long-term recovery and survival of diverse primary care patients after an episode of depression. Nearly half of participants were found to be depressed at some time over a 10-year period, and most cases across ethnic groups were judged to need further treatment. The ethnically diverse community members that analyzed the transcripts emphasized assets that participants showed in surviving multiple life stresses. Different sex and ethnic/racial groups had different characteristics of engaging in care, with Latino women in particular raising concerns about care engagement, coping with stress, and long-term outcomes.

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