Texas Tech Professor Receives Research Grant to Study Depression Among Rural Texas Adults
May 24, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas – Dr. Sid O’Bryant, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Neurology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, will study depression among rural Texas adults with the help of a research grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
O’Bryant’s proposal was selected from a pool of 47 applicants from 19 universities across Texas. The foundation awarded 10 grants totaling nearly $150,000. The one-year grants are capped at $15,000 each.
O’Bryant is director of rural health research at the university’s F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health and principal investigator of Project FRONTIER, an ongoing epidemiological study of rural health.
Under the umbrella of Project FRONTIER, the new study will examine depression among adults aged 40 and older and living in rural areas of West Texas.
“Despite the large number of people calling rural West Texas home, very little information exists for rural clinicians on the rates and treatment of depression among rural adults. This grant provides invaluable support for understanding how depression affects rural West Texans,” O’Bryant said.
The study will measure gender and ethnicity as factors in depression levels and will determine if use of antidepressants varies according to gender, ethnicity and availability of health insurance.
“Nearly four million people live in rural areas of Texas. This study could have important implications for depression rates not just in West Texas, but in other rural regions of the state,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr. executive director of the foundation.
The Hogg Foundation was founded in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James Hogg to promote improved mental health for the people of Texas. The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health consumer services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.