To develop a validated stigma checklist to assist physicians in addressing depression in Latino patients.
Two hundred low-income, Spanish-speaking, Latino patients in primary care clinics were screened for depression using Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-2 and PHQ-9), and medical records were reviewed. With the use of a wide pool of stigma items, empirical methods were used to develop a stigma checklist from this primary care sample and patient information was used to demonstrate construct validity.
Patients reporting higher levels of perceived stigma using the stigma checklist were less likely to disclose their depression diagnosis to their family and friends (P<.05) and also less likely to be taking depression medication (OR=.78; 95% CI, .62–.99). Patients with stigma were less likely to be able to manage their depression (OR=.79; 95% CI, .65–.96) and more likely to have missed scheduled appointment visits (OR=1.44; 95% CI, 1.03–2.02).
Given the strong relationship between stigma and care of depression, primary care clinicians should be aware of and address stigma among their depressed Latino patients. The stigma checklist presented for treating Spanish-speaking Latino patients in primary care may be used to assess depressed patients for stigma to help inform clinical management of patients.