Psychiatry Investig.  2019 Oct;16(10):728-736. 10.30773/pi.2019.07.17.4.

Adolescents' Attitudes and Intentions toward Help-Seeking and Computer-Based Treatment for Depression

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. shinms@snu.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Many depressed adolescents do not seek professional help despite there being evidence-based treatments for depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or computer-based therapy. To increase professional help-seeking behavior in depressed adolescents, it is necessary to positively change help-seeking attitudes. This study aimed to explore the effect of sub-groups of help-seeking attitudes, gender, and depression level on adolescents' help-seeking intentions and their perceptions of computer-based psychotherapy.
METHODS
Participants were 246 adolescents aged 13-18 years recruited from six middle and high schools in South Korea. Measures were self-administered questionnaires, and included the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale, the Intention to Seek Counseling Inventory, Preferences for Depression Treatment, and the Perceptions of Computerized Therapy Questionnaire.
RESULTS
Help-seeking intentions were positively related with female gender and the recognition of the need for help. A higher level of confidence in therapists was related to high preference for computer-based therapy and face-to-face therapy. Adolescents with more severe depression were more likely to prefer pharmacotherapy. The perceptions of computer-based therapy were more positive in male adolescents, and in adolescents with a higher level of confidence in therapists yet a lower level of interpersonal openness.
CONCLUSION
To promote adolescents' help-seeking behavior, improvement of the recognition of the need for help is required, especially among male adolescents. Computer-based therapy provides an alternative for male adolescents with high confidence in therapists yet low interpersonal openness. Consideration of the help-seeking attitudes and gender is needed when providing therapeutic intervention to depressed adolescents.

Keyword

Depression; Adolescent; Gender; Help-seeking behavior; Attitudes; Computer-assisted therapy

MeSH Terms

Adolescent
Cognitive Therapy
Counseling
Depression*
Drug Therapy
Female
Help-Seeking Behavior
Humans
Intention*
Korea
Psychotherapy
Therapy, Computer-Assisted
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