The Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Knowledge of Depression to Severity of Depression in Underserved Primary Care Settings


Albert Hua

Publication Date



Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) have become the “front line defense” for psychological disorders (Bell et al., 2011; Serrano-Blanco et al., 2010). The US lifetime prevalence rates for depression for underserved ethnic minority populations are between 8-10% compared to the Caucasian population where lifetime prevalence rates for depression are between 7-10% (Dunlop et al., 2003; Riolo et al., 2005). The overall diagnosis sensitivity rates for depression in the primary care setting remain low ranging from 30-47.3% (Mitchell et al., 2009; Su et al., 2009). Past studies have revealed several predictors of depression, including age, gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. The present study examined the relationship between a patient’s self-efficacy and knowledge of depression, demographic variables, and the severity of depression in Hispanic and African American patients (n = 157), seen in underserved primary care settings, between the ages of 18 and 82 with no previous diagnoses of depression. The results of general linear regression modeling (GLM) analysis showed that self-efficacy, knowledge of depression, age, ethnicity, and gender were not significant predictors of severity of depression. However, t-test median split comparisons revealed that Hispanic compared to African American participants had significantly lower severity of depression when participants had greater levels of self-efficacy and little to no knowledge of depression. More research is needed on factors that increase accuracy in the diagnosis of depression with minority ethnic populations in the primary care setting.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Tan, Siang-Yang

Document Type





Primary care, Self-efficacy, Depression, Depressed persons




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