Background: Depression remains an issue worldwide. Women are at greater risk than men of experiencing depression, especially women living in rural areas. Mental health care in rural populations is less easily addressed than in urban areas. This descriptive study examined the prevalence of depression in women living in rural areas of Illinois. Additionally, it examined whether existing mental health care services meet the needs of rural women, as well as possible barriers preventing women from seeking help when needed.
Methods: A survey was distributed to women ages 18 and older living in rural communities of Illinois.
Results: 189 women completed the survey. 26.1% self-reported depression; when combined with previously diagnosed depression and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised (CESD-R) scores, 50.9% were at-risk for depression. Over one-quarter of study participants did not think available mental health care was sufficient.
Discussion: Prevalence of depression in rural women is high. There is an inconsistency between need for and use of health care services. Screening for depression in rural primary care settings might help more women receive adequate treatment. Further research with additional rural communities is necessary.
Published Date: 2020-06-14; Received Date: 2020-05-18