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Type: Journal article
Title: Palliative medicine practitioners' views on the concept of depression in the palliative care setting
Author: Ng, F.
Crawford, G.
Chur-Hansen, A.
Citation: Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2013; 16(8):922-928
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1096-6218
Statement of
Felicity Ng, Gregory B. Crawford and Anna Chur-Hansen
Abstract: Background: Despite its clinical importance in palliative care, depression remains an ambiguous concept. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore how medical practitioners working in palliative care conceptualize depression in that setting. Design: Medical practitioners who attended a palliative medicine conference (N=185) were invited to respond to a questionnaire, which explored their views on the concept of depression in the palliative care context. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize responses, and comparison between groups was conducted using nonparametric statistics. Themes in free-text comments were identified. Results: Seventy-nine responses were obtained (response rate 43%). Depression was not a unified concept, but was generally considered to be an illness with psychological, spiritual, and existential causes. Respondents were more uncertain about depression being an illness in the palliative care setting compared with other settings, and were ambivalent about its causality. Treatment preferences leaned towards psychological interventions. Depression being different in the palliative care setting was a theme. It was considered to be more prevalent, different in quality, harder to define, and associated with greater barriers to diagnosis and treatment. Conceptual differences were associated with the respondents' area of work, work position, duration of practice, and previous mental health training. Conclusions: Depression in the palliative care setting is a variable concept for palliative medicine practitioners. The conceptual diversity and complexities of depression in this setting must be acknowledged and further explored in order to develop nuanced approaches in clinical practice and in research.
Keywords: Humans; Palliative Care; Questionnaires; Statistics, Nonparametric; Attitude of Health Personnel; Depression; Quality of Life; Terminally Ill; Australia; New Zealand; Female; Male
Rights: © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
RMID: 0020130915
DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2012.0502
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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