An exploratory study investigating new ways of increasing the numbers of young men with depression who access primary care services.

Olga Luzon, Steve Pilling, Judith Leibowitz, John Cape, Andre Tylee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is often the case that young men forgo professional help when feeling under severe distress or depressed. These patients do not often approach their GP for support and treatment for emotional problems (Dubow et al., 1990; Garland and Zigler, 1994). It is important to investigate in more detail what prevents young men from seeking help and how can we facilitate their access to services in order to respond to this service gap (Stefl and Prosperi, 1985; Kushner and Sher, 1991).
Aims: This study aims at investigating the effectiveness of targeted strategies within a general practice to increase the number of young men with depression who access primary care services.
Method: Flyers specifically developed and tested with young men to ensure they are appealing to the targeted group, will be sent out to patients aged 16–35 years registered with two GP practices in London. Patients are invited to contact a telephone number at the practice to access help. General practitioners will be encouraged to refer males aged 16–35 years with a new diagnosis of depression. Practice computer records will also be interrogated regularly to identify patients having a current diagnosis of depression and no treatment in the preceding four months.
Results: Initial baseline data on demographics, symptom severity, social functioning, and quality of life is presented. Measure of the number of young men with depression identified after flyer sent out is compared with the baseline measure identified by the practice over the preceding three months. Some preliminary data from semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of young men is presented.
Conclusions Research into young men’s perceptions of help-seeking behaviours and how appropriate they feel GPs are as a source of help for depression has important implications for designing interventions in primary care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107
Number of pages108
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue numberSupp 1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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