Hispanic ethnicity, physician-patient communication, and antidepressant adherence

Compr Psychiatry. May-Jun 2003;44(3):198-204. doi: 10.1016/S0010-440X(03)00007-5.


The purpose of the study was to examine how Hispanic ethnicity influenced physician-patient communication about antidepressants and antidepressant adherence using a data set of audiotapes and transcripts of 98 medical visits and medical and pharmacy records. The data were collected in 1995 at the University of New Mexico's general medicine and family practice clinics. Physicians were more likely to state antidepressant information to non-Hispanic white patients than to Hispanic patients. Physicians were more likely to state information to patients who were prescribed new antidepressants. Physicians asked approximately one of five patients on continued therapy how well their antidepressants were working and only one of 10 patients if they were experiencing any side effects. Non-Hispanic white patients were significantly more likely to state information about their antidepressants than Hispanic patients. Younger patients and patients who were prescribed new antidepressants were more likely to ask questions about antidepressants. Hispanic patients and patients who were prescribed new antidepressants were significantly less adherent to their antidepressant therapy during the one hundred day period after their audio-taped visits than non-Hispanic white patients and patients on continued therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Communication*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • New Mexico
  • Patient Compliance / ethnology*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tape Recording


  • Antidepressive Agents