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Community Ment Health J. 2018 Aug;54(6):748-756. doi: 10.1007/s10597-017-0199-3. Epub 2017 Nov 11.

Preferences for Depression Help-Seeking Among Vietnamese American Adults.

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Department of Health Promotion and Policy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, 401 Parnassus Ave, Box 0984-TSO, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.
Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Santa Clara County Mental Health Department, San Jose, CA, USA.
Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System, San Jose, CA, USA.
Asian Americans for Community Involvement, San Jose, CA, USA.
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA, USA.


Culture impacts help-seeking preferences. We examined Vietnamese Americans' help-seeking preferences for depressive symptoms, through a telephone survey (Nā€‰=ā€‰1666). A vignette describing an age- and gender-matched individual with depression was presented, and respondents chose from a list of options and provided open-ended responses about their help-seeking preferences. Results showed that 78.3% would seek professional help, either from a family doctor, a mental health provider, or both; 54.4% preferred to seek help from a family doctor but not from a mental health provider. Most (82.1%) would prefer to talk to family or friends, 62.2% would prefer to look up information, and 50.1% would prefer to get spiritual help. Logistic regression analysis revealed that preferences for non-professional help-seeking options (such as talking to friends or family, looking up information, and getting spiritual help), health care access, and perceived poor health, were associated with increased odds of preferring professional help-seeking. This population-based study of Vietnamese Americans highlight promising channels to deliver education about depression and effective help-seeking resources, particularly the importance of family doctors and social networks. Furthermore, addressing barriers in access to care remains a critical component of promoting professional help-seeking.


Depression; Help-seeking; Mental health; Vietnamese Americans

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