Using consumer perspectives to inform the cultural adaptation of psychological treatments for depression: A mixed methods study from South Asia

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Abstract

Background Integrating consumer perspectives in developing and adapting psychological treatments (PTs) can enhance their acceptability in diverse cultural contexts. Objective To describe the explanatory models (EMs) of depression in South Asia with the goal of informing the content of culturally appropriate PTs for this region. Methods Two methods were used: a systematic review of published literature on the EMs of depression in South Asia; and in-depth interviews with persons with depression and family caregivers in two sites in India. Findings from both were analysed independently and then triangulated. Results There were 19 studies meeting our inclusion criteria. Interviews were conducted with 27 patients and 10 caregivers. Findings were grouped under four broad categories: illness descriptions, perceived impact, causal beliefs and self-help forms of coping. Depression was characterised predominantly by somatic complaints, stress, low mood, and negative and ruminative thoughts. Patients experienced disturbances in interpersonal relationships occupational functioning, and stigma. Negative life events, particularly relationship difficulties, were perceived as the main cause. Patients mostly engaged in distracting activities, religious practices, and received support from family and friends to cope with the illness. Limitations The primary data are entirely from India but the studies from the literature review covering South Asia are consistent with these findings. This study also does not include literature in local languages or explore how consumer perspectives change over time. Conclusions EMs can inform cultural adaptations to PTs for depression in South Asia by defining target outcomes, content for psycho-education, and culturally appropriate treatment strategies. © 2014 The Authors.

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Aggarwal, N. K., Balaji, M., Kumar, S., Mohanraj, R., Rahman, A., Verdeli, H., … Patel, V. (2014). Using consumer perspectives to inform the cultural adaptation of psychological treatments for depression: A mixed methods study from South Asia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 163, 88–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2014.03.036

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