Chinese-Australians' knowledge of depression and schizophrenia in the context of their under-utilization of mental health care: An analysis of labelling

Steven Klimidis, Fei-Shiou Shiau, Iraklis Harry Minas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Low knowledge of and discrimination regarding mental disorders (MDs) may underpin lower access to mental health care by ethnic minority groups. Aims: In Chinese-Australians, in relation to schizophrenia and depression, to assess (a) labels attached to MDs, (b) conceptual distinctiveness of MDs, (c) labelling accuracy against an Australian representative sample, (d) how syndrome variations may influence labelling, and (e) effects of exposure to MDs on labelling. Method: 418 subjects were asked to indicate the labels they would apply to vignettes of depression and schizophrenia and whether they were exposed to these disorders personally or socially. Results: The sample was broadly representative of the Australian-Chinese community: 51% and 47% 'correctly' labelled the vignettes. Depression and schizophrenia labels were consistently discriminated and clustered with different other labels. Labelling accuracy surpassed Australians'. Labelling did not vary substantially between syndromes. Exposure related to increased labelling accuracy for depression. Conclusions: Accuracy in labelling major forms of MDs does not appear low in Chinese-Australians and seems higher than in the Australian community. MDs were discriminated although syndrome variations were not. Findings dispute that low mental health care access and uptake is due to low recognition and discrimination of MDs in Chinese-Australians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-478
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Chinese
  • Depression
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Explanatory models
  • Illness labels
  • Mental health literacy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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