Gender Differences in Depression Detection

A Comparison of Clinician Diagnosis and Standardized Assessment

Published in: Psychological Assessment V. 3, No. 4, Dec. 1991, p. 609-615

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 1991

by M. K. Potts, M. Audrey Burnam, Kenneth B. Wells

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Assesses the extent to which 523 medical and mental health clinicians tend to diagnose depression differentially on the basis of gender of 23,101 patients, using independent measures of depression: (1) clinician's diagnosis of clinically meaningful depression and (2) standardized assessment of depressive disorder using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS). Among patients who met DIS criteria for depressive disorder, medical practitioners were significantly less likely to identify depression in men than in women. Among patients who did not meet DIS criteria for depressive disorder, mental health specialists were significantly more likely to identify depression in women than in men. These findings remained after adjustment for patient demographic and other clinically relevant factors, including depression severity. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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