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First aid for depression: a Delphi consensus study with consumers, carers and clinicians.

journal contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by R L Langlands, A F Jorm, C M Kelly, Betty Kitchener
BACKGROUND: It is unclear how members of the public can best support individuals who are developing a depressive episode before appropriate professional help is received. METHODS: To assess expert consensus, we used the Delphi Method. An expert panel consisting of 167 mental health consumers, carers and clinicians was recruited from developed English-speaking countries. A 99-item questionnaire about how to help someone with depression was developed from a variety of resources. The panel members rated each item according to whether they believed the statement should be included in the first aid recommendations. The results were analysed by comparing consensus rates across the three groups. Three rounds were required to consolidate consensus levels. RESULTS: Sixty-four items were endorsed by > or =80% of panel members from all three groups as essential or important. These items were grouped under the following headings: recognising and acknowledging depression; approaching someone who may be depressed; how to be supportive; what is not helpful for a person who may have depression; whether to encourage the person to seek professional help; whether to encourage the person to use self-help strategies; what to do if the person does not want help. LIMITATIONS: These recommendations may not be applicable outside developed English-speaking countries. CONCLUSIONS: By informing the content of training courses, these recommendations will improve the provision of first aid to individuals who are developing a depressive episode and facilitate the uptake of appropriate professional help.



Journal of Affective Disorders






157 - 165









Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Elsevier