BACKGROUND: The beliefs of people receiving treatment about the causes of their own mental health problems are researched less often than the causal beliefs of the public, but have important implications for relationships with prescribers, treatment choices and recovery. METHOD: An online survey on a range of beliefs about depression, and experiences with antidepressants, was completed by 1829 New Zealand adults prescribed anti-depressants in the preceding five years, 97.4% of whom proceeded to take antidepressants. RESULTS: Six of 17 beliefs about the causes of their own depression were endorsed by more than half the sample: chemical imbalance, family stress, work stress, heredity, relationship problems and distressing events in childhood. There were some marked differences in content, structure and level of conviction of beliefs about one׳s own depression and the sample׳s previously published beliefs about depression in general. There were also significant differences between the beliefs of demographic groupings. Regression analyses revealed that self-reported effectiveness of the antidepressants was positively associated with bio-genetic causal beliefs. The quality of the relationship with the prescribing doctor was positively related to a belief in chemical imbalance as a cause and negatively related to a belief in unemployment as a cause. LIMITATIONS: The convenience sample may have been biased towards a favourable view of bio-genetic explanations, since 83% reported that the medication reduced their depression. CONCLUSIONS: People experiencing depression hold complex, multifactorial and idiosyncratic sets of beliefs about the causes of their own depression, apparently based at least in part on their own life experiences and circumstances. Exploring those beliefs may enhance the doctor-patient relationship and selection of appropriate treatment modality.

Beliefs of people taking antidepressants about the causes of their own depression

MAGLIANO, Lorenza
2015

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The beliefs of people receiving treatment about the causes of their own mental health problems are researched less often than the causal beliefs of the public, but have important implications for relationships with prescribers, treatment choices and recovery. METHOD: An online survey on a range of beliefs about depression, and experiences with antidepressants, was completed by 1829 New Zealand adults prescribed anti-depressants in the preceding five years, 97.4% of whom proceeded to take antidepressants. RESULTS: Six of 17 beliefs about the causes of their own depression were endorsed by more than half the sample: chemical imbalance, family stress, work stress, heredity, relationship problems and distressing events in childhood. There were some marked differences in content, structure and level of conviction of beliefs about one׳s own depression and the sample׳s previously published beliefs about depression in general. There were also significant differences between the beliefs of demographic groupings. Regression analyses revealed that self-reported effectiveness of the antidepressants was positively associated with bio-genetic causal beliefs. The quality of the relationship with the prescribing doctor was positively related to a belief in chemical imbalance as a cause and negatively related to a belief in unemployment as a cause. LIMITATIONS: The convenience sample may have been biased towards a favourable view of bio-genetic explanations, since 83% reported that the medication reduced their depression. CONCLUSIONS: People experiencing depression hold complex, multifactorial and idiosyncratic sets of beliefs about the causes of their own depression, apparently based at least in part on their own life experiences and circumstances. Exploring those beliefs may enhance the doctor-patient relationship and selection of appropriate treatment modality.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/182801
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