"It's Like Being in a Labyrinth": Hispanic Immigrants' Perceptions of Depression and Attitudes Toward Treatments

Cabassa, Leopoldo J.; Lester, Rebecca; Zayas, Luis H.

This study aimed to describe Hispanic immigrants' perceptions of depression and attitudes toward treatments and to examine how demographics, acculturation, clinical factors, and past service use were associated with their perceptions and attitudes. A convenience sample of 95 Hispanic immigrant patients was presented a vignette depicting an individual with major depression. Structured interviews that included standardized instruments and open-ended questions were used to query patients about their views of depression and its treatments. Findings showed that Hispanic immigrants perceived depression as a serious condition caused by interpersonal and social factors. Consistent with existing literature, most patients endorsed positive attitudes toward depression treatments yet reported apprehensions toward antidepressants. Demographic factors, acculturation, depressive symptoms, and past mental health service use were related to patients' views of depression and attitudes toward care. This study emphasizes the need to incorporate Hispanic immigrants' perceptions and attitudes into depression treatments.


Also Published In

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

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Academic Units
Social Work
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November 12, 2012