The Mental Health Clinician | 2019
Rate of positive depression screenings among Marshallese patients with diabetes in Northwest Arkansas
Introduction The lifetime risk of developing depression is 16.6%, however the risk is 2-fold in patients with diabetes. The rate of diabetes is much higher for the Marshallese than the general US population, with a prevalence ranging from 25% to 50%, however the prevalence of depression is not well defined among this minority group. The primary objective of this study was to obtain the rate of positive depression screenings, using the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), among adult Marshallese patients with diabetes. Methods A retrospective chart review was performed for Marshallese adults receiving care in a student-led clinic in Northwest Arkansas. Marshallese adults with a documented PHQ-2 score and a diagnosis of type 1 or 2 diabetes, as outlined by the American Diabetes Association, were included. Demographic information was obtained from the medical records. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results The study included 96 patients. Ten patients scored a 3 or higher on the PHQ-2, indicating a positive screen. Of these, scores ranged from 3 to 6, with the majority of patients scoring 4 (N\u2009=\u20096). The average hemoglobin A1C for patients with a positive PHQ-2 score was 10.5%. Discussion This project identified a rate of 10.4% of patients with a positive PHQ-2 from the study sample. This finding is similar to the prevalence of depression for the general US population, however it is lower than rates cited in the literature for patients diagnosed with diabetes. Future studies should use Native Marshallese community health workers and focus groups to develop a multistep approach to obtain a culturally appropriate, translated tool with high sensitivity for patient response.