Experiences of depression, the role of social support and its impact on health outcomes

Smith, L, Hill, N and Kokanovic, R 2015, 'Experiences of depression, the role of social support and its impact on health outcomes', Journal of Mental Health, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 342-346.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Experiences of depression, the role of social support and its impact on health outcomes
Author(s) Smith, L
Hill, N
Kokanovic, R
Year 2015
Journal name Journal of Mental Health
Volume number 24
Issue number 6
Start page 342
End page 346
Total pages 5
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Background: Little research has been conducted into the value of support from the perspective of the person experiencing depression, or the types of support that are valued.Aim: In this article we aim to identify the beneficial sources of social support, what form these took, and when and how these sources of support helped.Methods: Narrative interviews with a maximum variation sample of 42 Australians who had experienced depression. Interviews were audio and/or video recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a coding framework and thematic analysis.Results: Themes included "early warning system," "staying the course" and "striving for normality." Practical support made a difference to participants health outcomes such as hospitalisation and access to therapy. Seemingly invisible sources of support were recognised and acknowledged by participants particularly when they were seeking to maintain wellness.Conclusions: Support varied according to the trajectory of the depression experience. Some forms of support can make a real difference to health outcomes. We propose an alternative interpretation to current understandings about the role of social support.
Subject Sociology not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Depression
Mental health
Narrative
Social
DOI - identifier 10.3109/09638237.2014.954693
Copyright notice © 2015 Taylor and Francis
ISSN 0963-8237
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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