Racial and ethnic disparities in the treatment of depression

a scoping review


  • Igor Nolasco Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8791-0469
  • Madalena Cunha Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Escola Superior de Saúde, Viseu, Portugal | UICISA:E, ESEnfC, Coimbra / SIGMA – Phi Xi Chapter, ESEnfC, Coimbra, Portugal | CIEC - UM, Braga, Portugal
  • Eduardo Santos Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra - Serviço de Reumatologia, Coimbra, Portugal | Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing (UICISA: E), Nursing School of Coimbra (ESEnfC), Coimbra, Portugal https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0557-2377




depression, ethnicity and health, race factors


Introduction: It is now recognized that ethnic and racial minorities have less access to mental health in general and to the treatment of depression in particular. Where access exists, they receive a lower quality service.

Objective: To map and synthesise the existence of racial and ethnic inequality in the treatment of depression.

Methods: A scoping review has been performed using the method proposed by Joanna Briggs Institute. The selection of studies, extraction and synthesis of data were carried out by two independent reviewers.

Results: Five studies have been included in the study corpus that reveal unequivocal racial and ethnic inequalities in the treatment of depression. These inequalities lead to underdiagnosis and a lack of adequate treatment for non-caucasian patients, manifested by a lower probability of pharmacological prescription of antidepressants and counselling.

Conclusion: Race and ethnic inequalities in the treatment of depression are found to have a direct impact on underdiagnosis and lack of adequate treatment.


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How to Cite

Nolasco, I., Cunha, M., & Santos, E. (2020). Racial and ethnic disparities in the treatment of depression: a scoping review . Millenium - Journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(7e), 109–115. https://doi.org/10.29352/mill0207e.12.00362



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