Campus & Community

CHA researchers awarded grant to study depression in minorities

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Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), the nonprofit health-care system with strong ties to Harvard and Tufts medical schools, recently announced that its Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research (CMMHR) has received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The two-year award in the amount of $599,999 will be used to study the quality of depression treatment for ethnic/racial minorities.

Directed by Margarita Alegría, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, CMMHR will use the grant’s support to conduct a study that will provide information on issues of quality, patient-centeredness, and economic costs relevant for depression treatment for minorities. Specifically, the study will compare the quality of depression treatment that ethnic/racial minorities receive relative to what non-Latino whites receive; explore whether geographic factors play a role in explaining receipt of quality depression treatment, and whether these effects vary by ethnicity/race; examine how depression treatment can be designed to be more responsive to ethnic/racial minority patient needs; and address the economic and social costs of depression in minority populations.