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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Title Proximity to healthcare clinic and depression risk in South Africa: Geospatial evidence from a nationally representative longitudinal study
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 1-8
Proximity to primary healthcare facilities may be a serious barrier to accessing mental health services in resource-limited settings. In this study, we examined whether the distance to the primary healthcare clinic (PHCC) was associated with risk of depression in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Depressive symptoms and household coordinates data were accessed from the nationally representative South African National Income Dynamics Study. Distances between households and their nearest PHCCs were calculated and mixed-effects logistic regression models fitted to the data. Participants residing <6 km from a PHCC (aOR{\thinspace}={\thinspace}0.608, 95{\%} CI 0.42--0.87) or 6--14.9 km (aOR{\thinspace}={\thinspace}0. 612, 95{\%} CI 0.44--0.86) had a lower depression risk compared to those residing ?15 km from the nearest PHCC. Distance to the PHCC was independently associated with increased depression risk, even after controlling for key socioeconomic determinants. Minimizing the distance to PHCC through mobile health clinics and technology could improve mental health.

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