Social and Economic Factors in Late-Life Depression

Summary

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey S Harman
Affiliation: University of Florida
Country: USA
Abstract: Although health care for older persons is a major policy concern and the impact of depression on social and physical functioning, quality of life, and health care costs for elderly persons is severe, and effective treatments for depression exist, under-treatment and non-treatment is common. More needs to be known about the factors associated with the use of mental health services by elderly persons, yet there are very few researchers examining these issues. In addition, the data that are currently available for analyses were not designed for geriatric mental health services research, and all have significant limitations for this type of research. The applicant has a strong background of academic and research training in health economics, statistics, econometrics, health policy, and utilization of mental health services, but needs further training to become an effective geriatric mental health services researcher. The applicant is requesting. five years of funding through the Mentored Career Development Award (KO 1) program to improve his knowledge of geriatric psychiatry and medical sociology and obtain methodological skills in survey design and administration to become a geriatric mental health services researcher. These activities will take place within the NIMH supported Intervention Research Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh, with Charles F. Reynolds serving as mentor, and Linda George, Martha Bruce, Herbert C. Schulberg, Judy Lage, Richard Schulz, and Scott Beach serving as consultants. The applicant will then use this training to create a pilot database, combining survey and claims data, that can be used to examine the relative role of social and economic factors on the utilization of mental health services for the treatment of late-life depression. By determining the relative role of social and economic factors on the use of mental health services by elderly persons, health policy and other interventions can be designed that can improve rates of recognition and treatment of depression in this population. The research plan for this award involves the collection of pilot survey data that will be linked to Medicare HMO encounter data. The survey will collect information on economic and social factors related to the use of mental health services, as well as information on mental and physical health status, physical functioning, and medical and psychiatric history. This survey data will then be linked to respondents' HMO encounter data. Information from this pilot database, such as reliability and validity of measures, response rates, and effect sizes, will be used to develop an RO1 application to create a large, longitudinal, and comprehensive database that can be used for geriatric mental health services research.
Funding Period: 2001-09-18 - 2007-06-30
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. ncbi The influence of comorbid chronic medical conditions on the adequacy of depression care for older Americans
    Jeffrey S Harman
    Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
    J Am Geriatr Soc 53:2178-83. 2005
  2. ncbi Primary care physician office visits for depression by older Americans
    Jeffrey S Harman
    Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610 0195, USA
    J Gen Intern Med 21:926-30. 2006
  3. ncbi Changes in health care use and costs after a break in Medicaid coverage among persons with depression
    Jeffrey S Harman
    Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611 0195, USA
    Psychiatr Serv 58:49-54. 2007

Scientific Experts

Detail Information

Publications3

  1. ncbi The influence of comorbid chronic medical conditions on the adequacy of depression care for older Americans
    Jeffrey S Harman
    Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
    J Am Geriatr Soc 53:2178-83. 2005
    ..To assess the effect of the co-occurrence of four common chronic medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, heart disease) on the probability of receiving adequate depression treatment...
  2. ncbi Primary care physician office visits for depression by older Americans
    Jeffrey S Harman
    Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610 0195, USA
    J Gen Intern Med 21:926-30. 2006
    ....
  3. ncbi Changes in health care use and costs after a break in Medicaid coverage among persons with depression
    Jeffrey S Harman
    Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611 0195, USA
    Psychiatr Serv 58:49-54. 2007
    ....