Patient primary language in a culturally focused intervention for Latino Americans with depression

BACKGROUND: This study examined whether a culturally focused psy­chiatric consultation program (CFP) for Latino Americans was equally effective in reducing depressive symptoms in English-speaking and Spanish-speaking patients.

METHODS: The CFP utilizes the Engagement Interview Protocol (EIP), a semi-standardized protocol eliciting patient narratives about illness beliefs. The sample included 118 Latino American patients present­ing with depressive symptoms. Patient-preferred primary language was examined as a moderator for the effect of CFP participation vs usual care on change in depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Multiple regression analysis revealed that the interaction effect of primary language and treatment arm on depressive symptoms, as mea­sured by the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self Report was not statistically significant at 6-month follow-up (B = –2.89, t = –1.35, P = .180).

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the CFP was equally effec­tive in both Spanish and English-speaking Latino Americans. The trend in the results toward greater reduction in depressive symptoms in pri­mary Spanish-speaking Latino Americans as compared with primary English-speaking Latino Americans suggests the importance of receiving language-concordant care.

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