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The acceptability of a depression screening tool in an urban, Aboriginal community-controlled health service

Esler, D, Johnston, F and Thomas, D (2007). The acceptability of a depression screening tool in an urban, Aboriginal community-controlled health service. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health,31(3):259-263.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 10092xPUB26
Title The acceptability of a depression screening tool in an urban, Aboriginal community-controlled health service
Author Esler, D
Johnston, F
Thomas, D
Journal Name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 31
Issue Number 3
ISSN 1326-0200   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 259
End Page 263
Total Pages 5
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Field of Research 1117 - Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Objective: To assess the acceptability and face validity of a psychological assessment instrument, the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), as a depression screening tool for use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Methods: Four focus groups were held in an urban, Aboriginal community-controlled health service. Participants' attitudes to screening for depression and the specific components of PHQ-9 were explored.

Results: Process-oriented and PHQ-9-specific themes were raised. They included the role of family in the screening process, the need for a trusting relationship between the tool administrator and patient, the risk of confounding by social disadvantage or physical co-morbidities, the absence of a question assessing the presence of anger as a symptom of depression, and the importance of culturally appropriate language within the tool.

Conclusion: Modification of the screening process and wording of the PHQ-9 in response to these concerns should render it acceptable for use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in this setting.

Implications: These results may apply to the use of other psychological screening tools in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. This is particularly relevant given the policy emphasis on screening in Indigenous health.
Keywords depression
culture
diagnosis
psychometrics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-842X.2007.00058.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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