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Assessment of Depression in the Latino Community

25 July 2009


The author conducted a comprehensive critical review of literature related to the assessment of depression within the Latino community. The first section of this literature review focuses on the properties and appropriateness of the following assessment measures of depression used with the Latino population in English and Spanish: the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the BDI-II, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), The second part of the literature review focuses on reasons why culture should be more emphasized when assessing depression with the Latino population, such as: reliance on Westernized diagnostic criteria, cultural influences, protective factors, and potential misinterpretation of Spanish translated assessment measures. The third section examines the discrepancy in reported prevalence rates of depression with Latino individuals and focuses on three possible contributing factors to this discrepancy, including: a lack of assessment for culturally specific syndromes, Latino individuals’ perceptions and attitudes about depression, and barriers to treatment and potential risk factors for depression. Finally, the literature review provides some future directions for research and suggestions for improving how depression is assessed with Latino individuals.


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