What Teens Want: Barriers to Seeking Care for Depression

  • Jennifer P. Wisdom
  • Gregory N. Clarke
  • Carla A. Green
Article

Abstract

This study examined the experiences of teenagers seeking and receiving care for depression from primary care providers. We investigated teens’ perceived barriers in obtaining care to determine how primary care can effectively address depressed teens’ stated needs. In-depth individual (n = 15) and focus group (n = 7) interviews with adolescents were conducted and analyzed using grounded theory and prominent themes were identified. Teenagers reported faring best when providers actively considered and reflected upon the teenagers’ developmentally appropriate desires to be normal, to feel connected, and to be autous. These goals are achieved by providers establishing rapport, exchanging information about depression etiology and treatment, and helping teens make decisions about their treatment. To the extent that providers improve efforts to help teens feel normal, autonomous, and connected, the teens report they are more likely to accept treatment for depression and report success in treatment.

Keywords

depression adolescents identity primary care patient–provider communication 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer P. Wisdom
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gregory N. Clarke
    • 2
  • Carla A. Green
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and PsychiatryOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health ResearchKaiser Permanente NorthwestPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Preventive MedicineOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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