Depression education fotonovela for engagement of Hispanic patients in treatment: a randomized clinical trial

Katherine Sanchez, Brittany H. Eghaneyan, Michael O. Killian, Leopoldo J. Cabassa, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: We report the primary outcomes from a randomized clinical trial testing a novel culturally-adapted patient education intervention to increase engagement of Hispanic patients in depression treatment. The Depression Education Fotonovela (DEF), Secret Feelings, incorporates popular images, cultural norms, and vivid pictures embedded within a soap opera narrative to increase depression knowledge and dispel myths about treatment. We then assessed engagement in a integrated care treatment model in response to the education intervention and subsequent changes in depression symptoms in a large community-based clinic whose patient population is majority Hispanic. Method: The sample included 150 adult Hispanic patients with a confirmed diagnosis of depression who were randomly assigned to either: [1] integrated care + fotonovela; or [2] integrated care + standard education. Differences between treatment groups were examined as were changes in depression, anxiety, depression knowledge, and stigma scores over time and engagement in treatment. Results: Results indicated that while depression scores significantly decreased over time for participants (F [2.811, 416.054] = 197.69, p <.001, η2 =.572), no differences between the two education groups were found (F [1, 148] = 0.70, p =.403, η2 =.005). At 12-month follow-up, 101 patients (80.8%) reported a 50% of greater reduction in depression scores from baseline. Conclusions: We found little difference between the two education groups, suggesting that either may helpful for engaging Hispanic patients into care. Better tailoring of patient education, with the fotonovela or similarly adapted tools, will require more directly addressing the stigma associated with antidepressant medication. Trial registration: The study was registered with NCT02702596, on 03/20/2016. Retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number635
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Depression
  • Education, Hispanics
  • Fotonovela
  • Integrated care
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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