JOURNAL ARTICLE

Antidepressant prescribing to Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients in primary care

B L Sleath, R H Rubin, S A Huston
Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2001, 35 (4): 419-23
11302403

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether there was a difference in the prescribing of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and non-SSRI antidepressants to Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients in primary care.

METHODS: Twenty-seven family practice and internal medicine resident physicians and 407 of their Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients who were fluent in English or Spanish participated in the study The medical records of all patients were reviewed and information about patient diagnoses and antidepressant prescriptions was abstracted. Logistic regression was used to examine whether Hispanic ethnicity influenced physician prescribing of SSRI and non-SSRI antidepressants while controlling for other patient characteristics and diagnoses. For patients with a diagnosis of depression, logistic regression was used to examine whether Hispanic ethnicity influenced whether patients received antidepressant treatment while controlling for other patient characteristics

RESULTS: Twenty-seven percent of patients received a prescription for one or more antidepressants. Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients were equally likely to be prescribed SSRI and non-SSRI antidepressant medications. Having a diagnosis of depression and having a diagnosis of chronic pain was significantly correlated with the prescribing of a non-SSRI antidepressant (p < 0.001, p < 0.01, respectively). Having a diagnosis of depression was significantly correlated with the prescribing of an SSRI antidepressant (p < 0.001). Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients with a diagnosis of depression were equally likely to be prescribed antidepressant treatment. Patients with a diagnosis of depression in the general medicine clinic were significantly less likely to receive antidepressant therapy than patients in the family practice clinic.

CONCLUSIONS: Hispanic ethnicity did not influence antidepressant prescribing. Future research in other settings is needed to further determine whether Hispanic ethnicity influences antidepressant prescribing.

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