Understanding psychological treatment barriers, preferences and histories of individuals with clinically significant depressive symptoms in Australia: a preliminary study

Sinead Smith, Josephine Paparo, Bethany M. Wootton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Depressive symptoms are common, yet many individuals in Australia do not seek treatment. The aim of this study was to explore 1) psychological treatment barriers, 2) psychological treatment delivery preferences, 3) predictors of psychological help-seeking intention, and 4) treatment histories of individuals with clinically significant depressive symptoms in Australia. Method: One hundred and eighty-two individuals (Mage = 36.77, SD = 11.94; range 18-73; 92.3% female) were included in the study. Data was collected online from a community sample of individuals with clinically significant depressive symptoms. Results: The most frequently endorsed barrier to seeking psychological treatment was cost (66.5%). Participants generally preferred standard face-to-face treatment (58.8%). Participant age, number of barriers, depression severity and self-stigma explained 32% of the variance in future psychological help-seeking intention. Sixty-one percent of participants indicated receiving cognitive-behaviour therapy in the past, but less than one in five received a likely best-practice treatment according to expert consensus guidelines. Conclusions: Many Australians require more cost-effective treatments, as well as treatments using remote delivery approaches. Funders may need to assess fidelity to evidence-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Psychologist
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • depression
  • barriers to psychological treatment
  • treatment history
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • treatment delivery preferences
  • help-seeking intention
  • Depression

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