Lay recommendations on how to treat mental disorders
ABSTRACT Background Beliefs about the helpfulness of interventions are influencing the individual help-seeking behavior in case of mental illnesses.
It is important to identify these beliefs as professional helpers are asked to consider them in their treatment recommendations.
Objective Assessing lay proposals for an appropriate treatment of mental illnesses. Methods We conducted a representative opinion survey in Switzerland. Eighteen treatment proposals were presented with respect to
a vignette either depicting schizophrenia or depression. Respondents were asked to indicate the proposals considered to be
helpful for treatment and those considered to be harmful, respectively. Results‘Psychologist,’‘general practitioner,’‘fresh air,’ and ‘psychiatrist’ were mostly proposed as being helpful. Among several
psychiatric treatment approaches ‘psychotherapy’ was favored, while psychopharmacological treatment and electroconvulsive
therapy were only proposed by less than one-fourth of the interviewees. Especially psychotropic drugs were considered to be
harmful. Treatment by a psychiatrist was regarded as being more helpful for schizophrenic individuals than for depressive
persons. For a person experiencing a life crisis, treatment by a psychiatrist and psychological treatment were viewed as being
harmful, and non-medical interventions were preferred. However, for persons thought to be mentally ill, psychiatric and psychopharmacological
treatments were recommended. Conclusion Mental health professionals are regarded as being helpful although their treatment methods are seen as being less helpful.
A clear distinction is made between lay proposals for depression and schizophrenia. However, the perception of whether a condition
is considered to be an illness or a life crisis has significantly more influence on lay treatment proposals than the cited
diagnosis in the vignette.
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ABSTRACT: Beliefs about how much people can change their attributes - implicit theories - influence affective and cognitive responses to performance subsequent motivation. Those who believe their attributes are fixed view setbacks as threatening and avoid challenging situations. In contrast, those who believe these attributes are malleable embrace challenges as opportunities to grow. Although implicit theories would seem to have important mental health implications, the research linking them with clinical applications is limited. To address this gap, we assessed how implicit theories of anxiety, emotion, intelligence, and personality related to various symptoms of anxiety and depression, emotion-regulation strategies, and hypothetical treatment choices (e.g., medication versus therapy) in two undergraduate samples. Across both samples, individuals who believed their attributes could change reported fewer mental healths symptoms, greater use of cognitive reappraisal, and were more likely to choose individual therapy over medication. These findings suggest implicit theories may play an important role in the nature and treatment of mental health problems.Cognitive Therapy and Research 09/2014; · 1.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study aims to examine perceptions of the helpfulness of treatments/interventions for depression held by elderly care recipients, to examine whether these beliefs are related to help-seeking and whether the experience of depression affects beliefs about treatment seeking, and to identify the characteristics of help-seekers. One hundred eighteen aged care recipients were surveyed on their beliefs about the helpfulness of a variety of treatments/interventions for depression, on their actual help-seeking behaviors, and on their experience of depression (current and past). From the sample, 32.4% of the participants screened positive for depression on the Geriatric Depression Scale, and of these, 24.2% reported receiving treatment. Respondents believed the most helpful treatments for depression were increasing physical activity, counseling, and antidepressant medication. Help-seeking from both professional and informal sources appeared to be related to belief in the helpfulness of counseling and antidepressants; in addition, help-seeking from informal sources was also related to belief in the helpfulness of sleeping tablets and reading self-help books. In univariate analyses, lower levels of cognitive impairment and being in the two lower age tertiles predicted a greater likelihood of help-seeking from professional sources, and female sex and being in the lower two age tertiles predicted greater likelihood of help-seeking from informal sources. In multivariate analyses, only lower levels of cognitive impairment remained a significant predictor of help-seeking from professional sources, whereas both lower age and female sex continued to predict a greater likelihood of help-seeking from informal sources. Beliefs in the helpfulness of certain treatments were related to the use of both professional and informal sources of help, indicating the possibility that campaigns or educational programs aimed at changing beliefs about treatments may be useful in older adults.Clinical Interventions in Aging 01/2015; 10:287-95. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of psychotherapy among individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis is to prevent transition to full-blown psychosis. Psychotherapy in individuals with a first-episode psychosis (FEP) aims to reduce relapse rates. Remission of (pre-) psychotic symptoms, psychosocial functioning, quality of life, comorbid disorders and self-esteem are also important outcomes in individuals at CHR and with FEP. Antipsychotics, Qmega-3-Fatty acids and psychotherapy have been found to be effective in CHR for most of these aims. Thereby psychotherapy presents a better benefit/risk ratio than antipsychotic medication. The most evidence-based intervention is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Psychotherapy is mostly offered to FEP patients within specialized early intervention services (including assertiveness community treatment and antipsychotic medication). Thereby, CBT is effective for positive symptoms and family intervention is particularly effective for the prevention of relapses. We introduce the principles of CBT for psychosis and suggest adaptions for individuals at CHR and FEP. We conclude that the needs of young people at CHR and with FEP are best met by specially designed, low threshold outpatient clinical services, which include intensive psychotherapy treatment. A number of countries have implemented early detection and intervention services based on this model, while the implementation within in Germany is still marginal.European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 09/2014; · 3.36 Impact Factor