Lay recommendations on how to treat mental disorders. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 2.54). 10/2001; 36(11):553-556. DOI: 10.1007/s001270170006


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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    • "%) preferred the ''Individual Therapy'' option. This pattern is consistent with previous studies of treatment preferences indicating that psychotherapy is a more popular treatment choice compared to medication (e.g., Deacon and Abramowitz 2005; Houle et al. 2013; Lauber et al. 2001; Zoellner et al. 2003) "
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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; 39(2). DOI:10.1007/s10608-014-9652-6 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    • "Men are also more likely to mention inadequate strategies to cope with depression, such as using alcohol (Lauber et al., 2001), while women are more likely to cite informal social support (Highet et al., 2002). In addition, psychiatric treatment is more frequently recommended by the general public for illnesses that are perceived as more severe and unrelated to a crisis, e.g. more so for schizophrenia than for depression (Lauber et al., 2001). However, recent studies indicate that public attitudes toward mental health service use are becoming more positive (Goldney et al., 2005; Mojtabai, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Stigmatizing attitudes toward depression and toward help-seeking are important barriers for people with mental health problems to obtain adequate professional help. This study aimed to examine: (1) population attitudes toward depression and toward seeking professional help in four European countries; (2) the relation between depression stigma and attitudes toward help-seeking; (3) the relation between both attitudes and socio-demographic characteristics; and (4) differences in attitudes across countries. METHODS: A representative general population survey (n=4011) was conducted in Germany, Hungary, Ireland, and Portugal, assessing attitudes toward depression and toward help-seeking, and a number of socio-demographic variables. RESULTS: Respondents showed a moderate degree of personal stigma toward depression and a strikingly higher degree of perceived stigma. Although a substantial majority showed openness to seek professional help, only half of the people perceived professional help as valuable. More negative attitudes were found in Hungary and were associated with male gender, older age, lower educational level and living alone. Also, personal stigma was related to less openness to and less perceived value of professional treatment. LIMITATIONS: The survey was cross-sectional, so no causal inferences could be drawn. CONCLUSIONS: Personal and perceived stigma toward depression deserves public health attention, since they impact upon the intention of people with depression to seek professional help. Public media campaigns should focus on the credibility of the mental health care sector, and target males, older people, and those with a lower educational level and living alone. The content of each campaign should be adapted to the cultural norms of the country for which it is intended.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 05/2013; 150(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2013.04.013 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    • "Most surveys of lay public attitudes use a rating approach [17] in which all items are equally important and therefore lack the prioritizing that would facilitate treatment decisions [18]. Here, we opted for the more realistic priority setting with a ranking approach [17,19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB) and human immune virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) stigmas affect public attitudes toward TB treatment and policy. This study examined 'stigmatizing' ideas and the view that 'TB patients should line-up in the chronic illness queue' in relation to preferences and attitudes toward TB treatment. Data were gathered through a survey administered to respondents from 1,020 households in Grahamstown. The survey measured stigmatization surrounding TB and HIV/AIDS, and determined perceptions of respondents whether TB patients should queue with other chronically ill patients. Respondents selected support and treatment options they felt would benefit TB patients. Statistical analysis identified the prevalence of TB and HIV/AIDS stigmas. Logistic regression analyses explored associations between stigmatizing ideas, views regarding TB patients in the chronic illness queue, and attitudes toward support and treatment. Respondents with TB stigmatizing ideas held positive attitudes toward volunteer support, special TB queues, and treatment at clinics; they held negative attitudes toward temporary disability grants, provision of information at work or school, and treatment at the TB hospital. Respondents who felt it beneficial for TB patients to queue with other chronically ill patients conversely held positive attitudes toward provision of porridge and disability grants, and treatment at the TB hospital; they held negative attitudes toward volunteer support, special TB queues, information provision at work or school, and treatment at clinics. These results showed that two varying views related to visibility factors that expose patients to stigmatization (one characterized by TB stigma, the other by the view that TB patients should queue with other chronically ill patients) are associated with opposing attitudes and preferences towards TB treatment. These opposing attitudes complicate treatment outcomes, and suggest that complex behaviors must be taken into account when designing health policy.
    International Journal for Equity in Health 01/2011; 10(1):2. DOI:10.1186/1475-9276-10-2 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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