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Latinos’ views of co-morbid chronic disease and minor depression

Moya L. Alfonso, Jaime Corvin, Claudia Aguado Loi, Isabella Chan, Dina Martinez Tyson, Linda M. Callejas, Maria Serrano, Phyllis Panzano, and Junius Gonzales.


Background: There are notable health disparities among Latinos in the US associated with chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes) and depression. Further, chronic diseases and minor depression tend to co-occur among Latino populations. This paper reports findings from a community-based participatory research study using dyadic focus groups with Latinos who have chronic disease and minor depression and their family members. The goal of this study was to better understand barriers and facilitators to chronic disease self-management among underserved Latinos living with both chronic illness and minor depression and their families using a socio-ecological approach.
Methods: In total, five focus groups were conducted with individuals with chronic disease (n=25) and four with nominated family members (n=17). All focus groups were digitally recorded and transcribed by a professional transcription agency in Spanish. Transcripts were imported into Atlas.ti V 6.2 software program and analyzed in Spanish by a team of bilingual researchers using content analysis. Qualitative results are presented thematically by level of analysis or behavioral influence (i.e., individual, family, and community levels) and barriers and facilitators are discussed within each level.
Results: Results revealed individual, family, and community level barriers (e.g., transportation, expressed emotion, and lack of health care providers) and facilitators to managing chronic disease and minor depression (e.g., acceptance, family support, and Spanish speaking support groups).
Conclusion: Findings have important implications for the understanding of chronic disease management for Latinos and emphasize the need to use evidence based approaches that address barriers and facilitators across the social-ecological continuum.

Key words: Latinos, Dyadic, Chronic Disease, Depression, Qualitative

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