Community Health Assessment: Depressive Disorders in Los Angeles County

Introduction

Community health assessment (CHA) refers to the gathering, analysis, as well as utilization of particular sets of data in educating and mobilizing specified communities or populations, developing priorities, planning actions, and garnering the required resources to enhance public health. As well, CHA can be characterized as the systematic gathering, as well as processing, of specific data to inform the formulation of particular decisions. It presents information that is handy in the identification of specific assets and problems defining communities. The information is as well useful in the formulation of the related policies and their implementation and appraisal. Besides, CHAs assist in the measuring of the degree to which specified public health systems execute own assurance functions. Essentially, this paper is a CHA of the Los Angeles County community, especially with respect to depressive disorders. Notably, depressive disorders are illnesses that affect a person’s thoughts, moods, normal functioning, daily life, and body. They cause pain to the suffering from them, their families, and their communities.

Read also Diabetes Among Citizens In Los Angles – Community Health Assessment

County and Demographics

County and State

The community that is the subject of this CHA lives in Los Angeles County. The country is found with California. California is a state.

Population

The following tables demonstrate the demographics of the county’s population. The demographics are in tables originally developed by Suburban Stats (2015).  The figures provided by Suburban Stats (2015) demonstrate that the county’s total population as at the time when the information presented in the tables was gathered was 9,818, 605 persons.

Table 1 Los Angeles County’s Total Population

Males 4,839,654
Females 4,978,951
Total 9,818,605

(Suburban Stats, 2015)

The following table contains a breakdown of the county’s population based on gender and race.

Table 2 Los Angeles County’s Population by Gender and Race
Race Male Female Total
Alaska Native tribes140134274
At least two races 216,425222,288438,713
Native Hawaiian2,0321,9814,013
American Indian37,26435,56472,828
White2,461,4912,475,1084,936,599
Some other race1,079,1611,061,4712,140,632
Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander12,93713,15726,094
At least three races 13,91615,94329,859
Hispanic or Latino2,343,0592,344,8304,687,889
Black or African American402,404454,470856,874
Asian629,972716,8931,346,865
Total 4,839,6544,978,9519,818,605
(Suburban Stats, 2015)

Number of Senior Citizens

The term “senior citizen” is commonly utilized as a euphemism for an aged individual, especially by American English speakers. The term commonly implies that the individual is retired. Consequently, that means that the individual is past the statutory retirement age. Different nation-states have different retirement ages. For purposes of this CHA, term is used on referring to those over 62, which is the minimum age at which one can start taking his or her retirement benefits.

Table 3 Number of Senior Citizens in Los Angeles County

Age (years)

Males

Females

Total

62 – 64118,525134,658253,183
65 – 66 63,99275,220139,212
67 – 69 81,56997,986179,555
70 – 74 107,219133,720240,939
75 – 79 80,298107,830188,128
80 – 84 58,66187,663146,324
85+49,25888,279137,537
Total 559,522725,3561,284,878
(Suburban Stats, 2015)

Number of Disabled Individuals

The statistics in this table were extracted by Los Angeles Almanac (2015) from the records of the census conducted in 2000.

Table 4 Number of Disabled Individuals in Los Angeles County

Age In Years

Males

Females

Total

  5 – 15  15,68210,00325,685
16 – 20    8,0735,47413,547
 21- 64127,881130,245258,126
 65 -7429,07438,27967,353
 75+26,54249,38275,924
Total 207,252233,383440,635
(Los Angeles Almanac, 2015)

Number of children

In biologically, one is considered to be child when after he or she is born but before he or she gets to puberty. Legally, a child is a minor. For purposes of this CHA, children are persons whose ages lie between zero days and 21 years. Notably, 21 is the majority age at which one can buy alcoholic drinks legally.

Table 5 Number of children in Los Angeles County

Age In Years

Below 5329,734
5 – 9323,197
10 – 14346,168
15 – 17 224,232
18 -19 145,109
20 72,347
21 71,592
Total 1,512,379

(Suburban Stats, 2015)

Project 6 Health Assessment

The health assessment designed in Project 6 sought to establish the opportunities available to practitioners along with policy-makers for making out particular health issues, designing strategies to address them using the extant resources, and executing programs and policies to enhance the wellbeing of given communities (WHO, 2001). Especially, the assessment focused on depressive disorders as a community health issue in Los Angeles County. Depressive disorders impact on individuals, communities, and families in ways that are intrusive (Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, 2002). Some individuals are crippled by depressive disorders, which also have adverse effects on economies, including the Los Angeles economy.  Depressive disorders are markedly associated with various societal factors such as marital status and poverty levels. As well, depressive disorders are closely associated with physical health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension as well as heart disease.

Via telephone-based surveys, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (2002) gathered information from diverse households within the county to establish the pervasiveness of the disorders within the county. The data gathered in the surveys was processed. The outcomes of the surveys showed that the disorders were rather pervasive in the county. In the county, a significant number of depressive disorder cases end up in suicidal acts. In the county, the population that is at the highest risk of developing depressive disorders comprises of Caucasian females who are between 50 and 59 years of age. The population that is that is at the second highest risk of developing depressive disorders comprises of Caucasian females who are between 40 and 49 years of age according to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (2002).

The prevalence of depressive disorders across diverse class and racial subgroups were highly comparable in the surveys’ outcomes. The disorders are not limited to any obvious ethnic or diagnostic pattern or patterns. Notably, the data on which the surveys’ outcomes were hinged allowed for the supposition that some respondents may have had motivations to underreport or fail to recognize some depressive disorders as such. Notably, some persons with the disorders and the corresponding emotions and disorders may not get official diagnosed with the disorders. That means that official diagnoses may not conclusively predicate that the persons are getting the suitable treatments (Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, 2002).

The commonest depressive disorder among adults is major depression. The second commonest depressive disorder among adults is bipolar depression. In the county, a significant percentage, 46%, of the adults with the disorders are not active in any given treatment plan guided by physicians. Besides, most of the adults with the disorders are not active in any given treatment plan involving the taking of prescribed medication according to the surveys’ outcomes according to Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (2002).

It is important that those getting depressive disorder treatments be offered the requisite social support services. The services can be offered to them via particular collaborative partnerships between diverse professional agencies and communities. The partnerships can be handy in assessing patients’ needs and enhancing their health and that of the public according to the WHO (2001). The outcomes can be employed in the planning of public policies geared towards improving community health outcomes (Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, 2002).

Supplementary Information Regarding the Depressive Disorder Health Concern

            National Institute of Mental Health (2015) indicates that the persons who at the highest risk of developing depressive disorders develop major depression. Close to 6.7% of all the adults in the US suffer major depression every year. Women are more susceptible to suffering depressive disorders than men in their lifetime. Nationally, Blacks who are not of Hispanic extraction are less susceptible to developing depressive disorders than Whites who are not of Hispanic extraction in their lifetime. The average age when individuals start developing depressive disorders is 32 years according to National Institute of Mental Health (2015).

Nationally, women are more susceptible to developing depressive disorders than men in their lifetime. Women are more predisposed to the development of the disorders than men by varied psychosocial, hormonal, lifecycle, and biological factors. Commonly, the way men experience the depressive disorders is different from the way the women experience the disorders. Women with the disorders are likely to feel excessively guilty, worthless, and sad. On the other hand, men are likely to feel disinterested in previously enjoyable activities, fatigued, and irritable (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015).

Method of Gathering Data for the CHA

Additional data, as well as information, for the CHA will be gathered via telephone-based surveys. Calls will be made to varied households in Los Angeles County to get the data necessary in establishing the pervasiveness of the disorders within the county. The data will as well be analyzed to establish the impacts that the disorders have on individuals, communities, and families within the county.

Evaluation of Information

The information gathered for use in the CHA and the information coming out of the assessment should be evaluated. The information is sufficient for use in informing the implementation of specific programs aimed at addressing the depressive disorder health concern in the country. The information can be employed in the formulation of effective programs aimed at addressing the depressive disorder health concern in the country. The information can be employed in the formulation of efficient programs aimed at addressing the depressive disorder health concern in the country. As well, the information can be used to ensure that the programs are cost-effective (Foster & Bickman, 2000). Besides, the information is adequate for use in attributing the objectives and goals of the programs to them.

 Plan of Action

Action

Rationale 

Activities

Addressing system-level impediments to depressive disorder careVarious organizational, as well as financial, barriers prevent persons with depressive disorders from seeking the appropriate care (Pincus, Pechura, Elinson & Pettit, 2001).
  • Addressing the system-level impediments at practice organization, health plan, policy, and purchaser levels
  • Addressing supposed cultural and organizational differences between behavioral health practitioners and primary care practitioners
Establishment of the requisite leadershipThe community should have leaders to provide the accountability, resources, and vision to run the depressive disorder care programsTraining of the leaders
Improvement of the capacity of primary care physicians
  • Commonly, the physicians lack sufficient time along with training for implementing protocols for depressive disorder management
  • The physicians are often busy attending to depressive disorder patients’ acute medical requirements rather than probing for their depressive disorder symptoms even when there are clearly a priority
  • The physicians to be trained on the implementation of protocols for depressive disorder management
Educating the public on depressive care managementA public that is well-versed with how depressive disorders should be managed may help patients cope with their depressive disorder conditionsThe public should engaged through specific educational programs to:

  • view depressive disorders as treatment and common
  • understand the varied treatments for depressive disorders
  • know how to render support to those with depressive disorders
  • know how to get the right treatment for the disorders (Katon, Robinson, Von Korff, Lin, Bush, Ludman, Simon & Walker, 1996)
Order Unique Answer Now

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *