Gender differences in depression in primary care

Janet B.W. Williams, Robert L. Spitzer, Mark Linzer, Kurt Kroenke, Steven R. Hahn, Frank Verloin deGruy, Amy Lazev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine gender differences in the frequency and manifestation of depression in primary care. STUDY DESIGN: PRIME-MD®, a new assessment tool, was tested in 1000 patients as an aid to diagnose depression in primary care patients. Answers to a self-assessment questionnaire completed by patients determined whether physicians administered the mood module in the Clinician Evaluation Guide to diagnose depression. Functional status wass assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-20). RESULTS: More women than men were diagnosed as having a mood disorder (31% vs 19%; p < 0.01), and an antidepressant was newly prescribed only for women (p < 0.001). There were no gender differences in physician ratings of patients' health, but women rated their health significantly more poorly than did men. Similarly, functional impairment scores were significantly lower in women than in men. CONCLUSIONS: Women are much more likely than men to have depressive disorders, and when these disorders are diagnosed, to receive a prescription for antidepressant medication. Further research is needed to determine why women seem to suffer disproportionately from symptoms of depression and signs of functional impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-659
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Biometrics Research Deflartmenn of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University,” New York, New England Medical Center,” Boston, Unqormed Services University of the Health Sciences,’ Bethesda, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx,” and University of South Alabama College of Medicine,” Mobile. The development of PRIME-MD and the PRIME-MD 1000 Study was supported in part by an unrestricted educational grant from U.S. Pharmaceutical Group, Pfizer Inc. Contact Dr. Williams or Dr. Spitzer about research use of PRIME-MD. Reprint requests: Janet B. W. Williams, DSW Biometrics Resea.rch Department, Unit 74, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 722 West 168 St., New York, NY 10032. Copyright 0 1995 by Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 0002-9378/95 $3.00 + 0 6/O/64547


  • Depression
  • gender differences
  • mood disorder
  • treatment
  • women


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in depression in primary care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this