Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 311-325

First online:

Integrating Mental Health Screening and Abnormal Cancer Screening Follow-Up: An Intervention to Reach Low-Income Women

  • Kathleen EllAffiliated withUSC School of Social Work
  • , Betsy VourlekisAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland Baltimore County
  • , Jan NisslyAffiliated withUniversity of Southern California
  • , Deborah PadgettAffiliated withNew York University
  • , Diana PinedaAffiliated withUSC Medical Center, Los Angeles County +
  • , Olga SarabiaAffiliated withUSC Medical Center, Los Angeles County +
  • , Virginia WaltherAffiliated withMt. Sinai Medical Center
  • , Susan BlumenfieldAffiliated withMt. Sinai Medical Center
  • , Pey-Jiuan LeeAffiliated withUniversity of Southern California

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The results of implementing mental health screening within cancer screening and diagnostic programs serving low-income ethnic minority women are reported. Multi-phased screening for anxiety and depression was provided as part of structured health education and intensive case management services to improve abnormal mammogram or Pap test follow-up. Seven hundred fifty-three women were enrolled in the Screening Adherence Follow-up Program. Ten percent (n = 74) met criteria for depressive or anxiety disorder. Women with depressive or anxiety disorders were more likely to have cancer, significant psychosocial stress, fair or poor health status, a comorbid medical problem, and limitation in functional status. Forty-seven women with disorders were receiving no depression care.

anxiety depression mental health screening primary care