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Social Class Influences Depression Treatment

Social Class Influences Depression TreatmentA recent study suggests social class has a major impact on the workplace efficacy of depression treatments.

Researchers discovered current treatments for depression don’t help working-class and poor patients improve their ability to function at work as much as middle-class patients.

Depression has a profound impact on an individual’s productivity.

That’s particularly true among individuals in lower social classes and with lower levels of education, such as many of those in sales and support jobs, according to Lydia Falconnier, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago.

Falconnier reviewed data from the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program from 1982 to 1986. Participants included 239 patients with major depressive disorder.

The study found that following treatment for depression, working class and poor patients’ ability to function at work improved less than middle-class patients.

The same results were found for patients taking medication for depression or receiving one of two different kinds of psychotherapy: interpersonal psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

The study also has implications for the ability of depression treatments to help depressed working-class and poor mothers to improve the care they provide for their children.

“This is particularly important since a lot of research shows negative outcomes for children of depressed mothers,” said Falconnier, the study’s principal investigator.

“This also raises questions about mandated depression treatment for working-class and poor mothers who are involved in the child welfare system.”

Future research will be needed to discover what needs to change in depression treatment so that working class and poor patients can benefit from it as much as middle-class patients, Falconnier said.

“One route to improved outcomes might be to adapt current therapies to include a greater focus on the daily work and economic stressors that low-income individuals face,” she said.

The study findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago

Social Class Influences Depression Treatment

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Social Class Influences Depression Treatment. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/11/08/social-class-influences-depression-treatment/20632.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.