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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2007 Aug;41(8):656-66.

Beliefs of young people and their parents about the effectiveness of interventions for mental disorders.

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ORYGEN Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic, Australia.



Mental disorders often have their first onset during youth, so that young people need to have knowledge to support appropriate decision-making. The aim of the study was to find out which interventions they see as potentially helpful for a range of mental disorders.


In 2006, interviews were carried out with 3746 Australians aged 12-25 years and 2005 of their parents. Participants were presented with a case vignette describing either psychosis, depression, depression with alcohol misuse, or social phobia. Questions were asked about the likely helpfulness of a broad range of possible interventions.


There was broad agreement from young people and their parents about what interventions are likely to be helpful and these views applied across the range of disorders presented. These interventions could be described as general and informal sources of help, rather than as specialist mental health services. The most negative views were about psychiatric medications and admission to hospital.


The findings suggest a need to improve knowledge of appropriate treatment options and to give more attention to the evaluation of interventions that are widely accepted by young people but underresearched. The findings also suggest ways in which interventions can be labelled to make them more acceptable to this age group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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