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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2005 Jan;111(1):51-8.

Help-seeking behaviour in patients with anxiety disorder and depression.

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Department of Psychiatry, Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, Norway.



The objective of this study was to investigate help-seeking behaviour among persons with anxiety disorder and depression based on self-rating in a Norwegian population (the HUNT study).


Of the 92 100 inhabitants aged 20-89 years invited, 65 648 (71.3%) took part. Among them 60 869 (66.1%) persons delivered valid ratings on hospital anxiety and depression scale, and had answered the requested help for mental problems question.


Among HUNT attenders 13% of those with depression and 25% with anxiety disorders had been help seekers. Help seeking was only non-significantly associated with demographic or other variables.


Most persons with anxiety disorder and/or depression in the population had not sought help for their mental disorders, but the disparity between use and need of health service must not be overassessed. Improvement of the help-seeking rate for common mental disorder should have high priority in mental health politics.

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