A decision tree analysis helps determine the complex characteristics of the groups that are closely connected with specific outcomes. Using a decision tree analysis, the purpose of this secondary analysis was to examine the associations of type II diabetes mellitus (DM) to depressive symptoms among midlife women from four major racial/ethnic groups in the US. while identifying the complex characteristics of the women that were closely linked to depressive symptoms.
The data from two larger Internet survey studies were used for this analysis. The data from a total of 164 women (62 with type II diabetes and 102 without diabetes) were included. The data were collected using several instruments to measure background characteristics, health and menopausal status, and depressive symptoms (the Depression Index for Midlife Women). The data analysis was conducted using independent t tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, and decision tree analyses.
The total numbers and total severity scores of depressive symptoms were significantly higher in those with DM compared with those without DM (P < 0.05). There were significant differences in the total numbers and total severity scores of depressive symptoms by menopausal status and race/ethnicity (P < 0.05). DM was a significant factor that influenced the total severity scores of depressive symptoms among midlife women in peri- or postmenopausal stages who were born outside the US and among midlife women in their premenopausal stage (P < 0.05).
This study indicated several combined characteristics of midlife women at high risk for depressive symptoms that could provide directions for future interventions.