With involvement in two wars over the past decade, there has been a documented increase in depression prevalence and suicide incidence among U.S. military veterans. Because higher proportions of veterans come from rural communities, access to care may be an issue when behavioral health care is needed. Although the Veterans Administration has expanded health services in rural areas, this has not always resulted in increased service utilization. This study examined the prevalence of depression and associated health service deficits (HSDs) for rural versus nonrural U.S. military veterans. Using bivariate and multivariate techniques, 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were analyzed. Bivariate analysis revealed that rural veterans had greater odds of having at least one HSD, being currently depressed as measured by the Personal Health Questionnaire-8, and having lifetime depression. Logistic regression analysis confirmed that rural veterans had higher odds of both current and lifetime depression than nonrural veterans when controlling for socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. Additionally, logistic regression analysis also revealed that rural veterans with current depression had higher odds of being Hispanic or Other/Multiracial than Caucasian, not employed for wages than employed for wages, 65 years of age, and reported having at least one HSD.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved.