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The importance of addressing depression among low-income women in a variety of contexts is the topic of a recent study by April Ivey, GRS’22, Jacqueline Corcoran Professor, and others in Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2).

Dr. Ivey, who recently graduated from the SP2 Doctorate of Clinical Social Work (DSW) program, compiled 59 previous studies involving more than 57,000 participants for her dissertation and, through data analysis, found that more than a third of low-income black women reported about symptoms of depression.

Ivey hopes her dissertation, “Prevalence of Depression in Low-Income Black Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” will pave the way for future research that focuses on culturally tailored screening and interventions that best support positive results for low-income black women with depression, and treatment protocols that include sensitivity and understanding of the social factors this group may face, including systemic barriers.

“I am passionately committed to advocacy social justice and equity for marginalized communities through education and leadership,” says Ivey, who is currently a care team leader at Cityblock Health. “Throughout my career, I have worked with diverse populations performing individual, group and family therapy and trained agency staff in the use of evidence-based interventions. mental health in social work, Ivey began the DSW program to prepare for advanced practice.

Dr. Corcoran, who was Ivey’s first thesis advisor, co-authored a study earlier this year documenting the high incidence of depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period. underprivileged women living in developed countries. Corcoran, along with Ivey’s second advisor, SP2 Associate Professor Ioana Marinescu and Ph.D. Social Security Program students Claudia Vogelsang and Jessica Cho Kim, posted “Prevalence of depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period among low-income women in developed countries” in Journal of Public Health in January 2022.

Their work included 157,151 participants in 64 studies, mostly from peer-reviewed journals, covering the period from 1985 to 2018. Among low-income women who were pregnant or postpartum, the prevalence of depression was 33.82%. Among higher-income women, the prevalence of depression was 15.64%, which was less than half the prevalence among lower-income women in all studies.

Like Ivey, Corcoran and coauthors hope to draw more attention to the prevalence and treatment of depression among the populations studied. “High rates of depression among women living in low-income settings are a major public health concern because of the intergenerational effects, with several possible adverse biological, psychological, and social consequences for children. Social determinants of women’s health need to be addressed as they contribute to both depression and recovery,” Corcoran and study coauthors write.

Dr. Corcoran’s career has been devoted to synthesizing knowledge about clinical social work through methods used in both research—systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and meta-synthesis. The purpose of her work is to expand the evidence base Social work with the mission of providing relevant services to the downtrodden and vulnerable people.

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Citation: Depression in Low-Income Women Research (2022, October 7) Retrieved October 7, 2022 from

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