Treatment options for depression: women and primary service providers

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Hood, Bernadette, Egan, Ronnie, Gridley, Heather and Brew, Christine (1999) Treatment options for depression: women and primary service providers. Australian journal of primary health, 5 (2). pp. 38-52. ISSN 1448-7527


A substantive quantitative research literature base exists exploring aspects of treatment for depression. Major themes to emerge from this literature include the use of general practitioners (GPs) in preference to psychiatrists for treatment and the negative public attitudes toward the use of pharmacological treatment strategies for depression. The study reported in this paper utilises a qualitative methodology to explore the experiences and attitudes of women currently being treated for depression. Specifically the paper focusses on the women's attitudes toward psychological versus medical treatment options for the disorder. Attitudes toward treatment modalities of medical and non-medical primary service providers are also investigated. Several significant findings emerged from the study. Women interviewed expressed a sense of personal responsibility for both the occurrence and management of depression.Consequent to this belief psychosocial interventions were critical to 'getting well'. Medication was viewed positively by all women, not as a treatment for depression, rather as a means of relieving the extreme symptoms of the illness, therefore providing space for psychosocial interventions. Medical and non-medical service providers expressed an acceptance of the need for integrating psychological and pharmacological treatment strategies though all providers acknowledged their lack of skills in incorporating treatments outside of their professional training. The study provides insight into the belief structures which influence participants' behaviours, presenting a less polarised view of attitudes toward psychological and pharmacological interventions than suggested by the current quantitative literature.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1071/PY99018
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1607 Social Work
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords depression, women, treatment
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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