Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 114–126 | Cite as

Barriers and Facilitators of Treatment for Depression in a Latino Community: A Focus Group Study

  • Lisa A. UebelackerEmail author
  • Beth A. Marootian
  • Paul A. Pirraglia
  • Jennifer Primack
  • Patrick M. Tigue
  • Ryan Haggarty
  • Lavinia Velazquez
  • Jennifer J. Bowdoin
  • Zornitsa Kalibatseva
  • Ivan W. Miller
Original Paper


We conducted focus groups with Latinos enrolled in a Medicaid health plan in order to ask about the barriers to and facilitators of depression treatment in general as well as barriers to participation in depression telephone care management. Telephone care management has been designed for and tested in primary care settings as a way of assisting physicians with caring for their depressed patients. It consists of regular brief contacts between the care manager and the patient; the care manager educates, tracks, and monitors patients with depression, coordinates care between the patient and primary care physician, and may provide short-term psychotherapy. We conducted qualitative analyses of four focus groups (n = 30 participants) composed of Latinos who endorsed having been depressed themselves or having had a close friend or family member with depression, stress, nervios, or worries. Within the area of barriers and facilitators of receiving care for depression, we identified the following themes: vulnerability, social connection and engagement, language, culture, insurance/money, stigma, disengagement, information, and family. Participants discussed attitudes toward: importance of seeking help for depression, specific types of treatments, healthcare providers, continuity and coordination of care, and phone calls. Improved understanding of barriers and facilitators of depression treatment in general and depression care management in particular for Latinos enrolled in Medicaid should lead to interventions better able to meet the needs of this particular group.


Telephone Depression Care management Primary care 



This project was funded by a grant from Robert Wood Johnson to Neighborhood Health Plan of RI (PI: Marootian).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa A. Uebelacker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Beth A. Marootian
    • 2
  • Paul A. Pirraglia
    • 3
  • Jennifer Primack
    • 1
  • Patrick M. Tigue
    • 4
  • Ryan Haggarty
    • 5
  • Lavinia Velazquez
    • 6
  • Jennifer J. Bowdoin
    • 7
  • Zornitsa Kalibatseva
    • 8
  • Ivan W. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Butler HospitalProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Neighborhood Health Plan of RIProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Division of Biology and MedicineAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.New England Alliance for Children’s Health of Community CatalystBostonUSA
  5. 5.Plaza Psychology and PsychiatryWoonsocketUSA
  6. 6.MAP-Behavioral Health Services, Inc/Progreso Latino, Inc.ProvidenceUSA
  7. 7.School of Public Health and Health SciencesAmherstUSA
  8. 8.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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