begin treatment than whites. And patients aged 60 and older were half as likely to begin treatment as those younger than 44, according to the study.
Among patients who began treatment, more than 80 percent received antidepressants rather than counseling. The investigators found that older patients were far less likely to choose counseling — with rates of 7 percent among patients aged 75 and older, versus 25 percent among patients aged 18 to 29.
All racial and ethnic minorities were more likely than whites to start counseling rather than medication — a finding that highlights the need for healthcare providers to consider the preferences of patients when considering treatment.
“There was some older, more limited evidence that many people who are diagnosed with depression do not begin treatment, for reasons ranging from stigma to challenges accessing behavioral health services,” said study author Beth Waitzfelder. She is an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Honolulu.
Previous research has also shown that some groups of patients are much less likely to receive treatment for depression, she added.
“Our study, which was much larger than previous studies, provides important new evidence about the