Social Class May Affect Outcome of Depression
FRIDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Depression treatments appear
to be less effective in helping poor and working class patients
function at work, a new study finds.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago said this
was especially important because depression takes a heavy toll on
productivity, particularly among those in sales and service jobs,
who often have less education and belong to the working class.
Researchers reviewed the cases of 239 patients with major
depression who took part in the U.S. National Institute of Mental
Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program from
1982 to 1986.
The patients took antidepressants or received one of two
different kinds of psychotherapy: interpersonal psychotherapy or
cognitive-behavioral therapy. After treatment with drugs or
psychotherapy, working-class and poor patients showed less
improvement in their ability to function at work than did
middle-class patients who had the same treatments, the University
of Illinois researchers found.
The study was published in a recent issue of the journal
Future research should examine how to change depression
treatments so that working-class and poor patients get the same
degree of benefit as middle-class patients, said principal
investigator Lydia Falconnier, an assistant professor in UIC's
College of Social Work.
"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 in a university news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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