Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Winter 2016

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Combating Depression With Comics

Fotonovela may encourage patients to seek mental health treatment 


The fotonovela form could be adapted to educate readers about mental health

Depression affects millions of Americans, but the population most at risk—Hispanics—is one of the least likely to seek treatment. The answer to increasing those numbers may be found in the pages of a comic book.

Research indicates that Hispanics are twice as likely as any other demographic to experience comorbid depression, with as much as 33 percent of the population suffering from the disorder. Yet they are also more inclined to let cultural concerns, social stigma, and other fears prevent them from seeking mental health treatment. Issues such as lack of insurance and language barriers further exacerbate the problem.

Social work Assistant Professor Katherine Sanchez is attempting to overcome these obstacles and encourage patients to seek treatment by using a fotonovela—an educational tool that depicts culturally sensitive images in a comic-book format—as part of an integrated health care treatment model.

"We know from over 20 years of research that integrated health care is an effective way to treat depression," she says. "My hope is that this study will help reduce disparities in the treatment of depression for Hispanic patients by increasing knowledge of the disorder, its causes, its symptoms, and its role in chronic disease."

Dr. Sanchez received a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to test her theory. She believes the fotonovela will improve patients' understanding of treatment options, encourage them to share in the decision-making process with their doctors, and increase their engagement in the treatment of their depression.

"Common concerns among Hispanics also include fears about the addictive and harmful properties of antidepressants and worries about taking too many pills," Sanchez says. "The fotonovela will help allay concerns of engaging in treatment."

More articles from this issue

UT Arlington - Office of Research