Advertisement

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 120–128 | Cite as

The Disclosure of Celebrity Major Depressive Disorder Diagnoses in Hong Kong: Its Effects on Public Awareness and Understanding Toward the Illness

  • Vivienne S. Y. Leung
Article
  • 181 Downloads

Abstract

This paper aims to examine consumer perception toward celebrity diagnoses of major depressive disorder (MDD) in Hong Kong and to provide insights into the effect of various factors on the persuasive effectiveness of MDD communication. A total of thirty-five interviews were conducted in April 2015. Interviewees in general are aware of celebrity MDD diagnoses, but they do not deem MDD as a threat to themselves. Hence, they are not motivated to learn more about the symptoms. Responses to celebrity MDD diagnoses are mixed. Many interviewees are sympathetic toward ill celebrities diagnosed with MDD, but some of the interviewees are dubious about the true intention behind disclosing their diagnoses to the public. Compared to non-fans, fans reported a greater increase in the level of knowledge of MDD after reading related media stories about celebrity MDD diagnoses. Source credibility is perceived as an important factor in MDD communication. This research suggests that the government or NGOs may use credible celebrities whose image can be associated with MDD and cooperate with fan clubs to spread health-related information. The paper represents the first attempt to investigate the effects of celebrity disclosure of MDD diagnoses on the mental disorder-related perceptions of the general public in Hong Kong.

Keywords

Celebrity Depressive disorder Attitudes Health communication Hong Kong 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Project Assistant Ms. Sally Ho for her help in the literature review and students from GDBU/GDSS1855 in the academic year of 2014/15 for their help in data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Informed Consent

Informed consent was provided by all participants in this research as per ethical guidelines in Hong Kong at the time of the study. All participants were aware that the interview was conducted on voluntary basis and they agreed to partake.

References

  1. Alonso, A. (2006). Star power: Celebrity endorsements impact stigma and treatment seeking. Psychiatric Times, 23(3), 30–32.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  3. Billboard. (2003). Hong Kong actor Leslie Cheung dies. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/71723/hong-kong-actor-leslie-cheung-dies.
  4. Capriotti, T. (2006). Update on depression and antidepressant medications. Medsurg Nursing: Official Journey of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, 15(4), 241–246.Google Scholar
  5. Chapman, S., McLeod, K., Wakefield, M., & Holding, S. (2005). Impact of news of celebrity illness on breast cancer screening: Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer diagnosis. The Medical Journal of Australia, 183(5), 247–250.Google Scholar
  6. Chin, W. Y., Chan, K. T. Y., Lam, C. L. K., Wong, S. Y. S., Lo, Y. Y. C., Fong, D. Y. T., Lam, T. P., Lee, P. W. H., Wong, J. W. S., & Chiu, B. C. F. (2011). The epidemiology and natural history of depressive disorders in Hong Kong’s primary care. BMC Family Practice, 12(1), 129.Google Scholar
  7. China Daily. (2006). Lyricist Lin Xi says he has anxiety problem. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-08/13/content_663638.htm.
  8. Chow, V. (2005a). ‘I had no goals. I hated meeting people’. South China Morning Post, 1 April, p. city1.Google Scholar
  9. Chow, V. (2005b). More depressives seeking help since singer’s suicide. South China Morning Post, 1 April, p. city1.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, H. (2008). Confessions of a celebrity mom: Brooke Shields’s Down came the rain: My journey through postpartum depression. Canadian Review of American Studies, 38(3), 449–461.Google Scholar
  11. de los Salmones, M. D. G., Dominguez, R., & Herrero, A. (2013). Communication using celebrities in the non-profit sector: Determinants of its effectiveness. International Journal of Advertising, 32(1), 101–119.Google Scholar
  12. Fujii, R. K., Goren, A., Annunziata, K., & Mould-Quevedo, J. (2012). Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and burden of major depressive disorder: Estimates from the national health and wellness survey in Brazil. Value in Health Regional Issues, 1(2), 235–243.Google Scholar
  13. Ghauri, P. N., & Grønhaug, K. (2005). Research methods in business studies: A practical guide (3rd ed.). London: Financial Times Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  14. González, H. M., Vega, W. A., Williams, D. R., Tarraf, W., West, B. T., & Neighbors, H. W. (2009). Depression care in the United States: Too little for too few. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(1), 37–46.Google Scholar
  15. Harper, S. (2006). Madly famous: Narratives of mental illness in celebrity culture. In S. Holmes & S. Redmond (Eds.), Framing celebrity: New directions in celebrity culture (pp. 311–327). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Hilton, S., & Hunt, K. (2010). Coverage of Jade Goody’s cervical cancer in UK newspapers: A missed opportunity for health promotion? BMC Public Health, 10(1), 368.Google Scholar
  17. Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., & Kelley, H. H. (1953). Communication and persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hung, K., Chan, K. W., & Tse, C. H. (2011). Assessing celebrity endorsement effects in China. Journal of Advertising Research, 51(4), 608–623.Google Scholar
  19. Jayne. (2012). Fiona Sit obsessed with suicide and slashed her wrist. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from http://www.jaynestars.com/news/fiona-sit-obsessed-with-suicide-and-slashed-her-wrist/.
  20. Johansson, S. (2006). ‘Sometimes you wanna hate celebrities’: Tabloid readers and celebrity coverage. In S. Holmes & S. Redmond (Eds.), Framing celebrity: New directions in celebrity culture (pp. 343–358). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Joyful Mental Health Foundation. (2004). Joyful marketA social enterprise. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from http://www.socsc.hku.hk/sigc/sigc2015/pdf/14-15%20termtime/CSS_PDF/4_Joyful%20%28Mental%20Health%29%20Foundation.pdf.
  22. Kalichman, S. C., & Hunter, T. L. (1992). The disclosure of celebrity HIV infection: Its effects on public attitudes. American Journal of Public Health, 82(10), 1374–1376.Google Scholar
  23. Kalichman, S. C., Russell, R., Hunter, T., & Sarwer, D. (1993). Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson’s HIV serostatus disclosure: Effects on men’s perceptions of AIDS. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61(5), 887–891.Google Scholar
  24. Kelaher, M., Cawson, J., Miller, J., Kavanagh, A., Dunt, D., & Studdert, D. M. (2008). Use of breast cancer screening and treatment services by Australian women aged 25–44 years following Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer diagnosis. International Journal of Epidemiology, 37(6), 1326–1332.Google Scholar
  25. Lafferty, B. A., Goldsmith, R. E., & Hult, T. M. (2004). The impact of the alliance on the partners: A look at cause–brand alliances. Psychology & Marketing, 21(7), 509–531.Google Scholar
  26. Lafferty, B. A., Goldsmith, R. E., & Newell, S. J. (2002). The dual credibility model: The influence of corporate and endorser credibility on attitudes and purchase intentions. Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 10(3), 1–12.Google Scholar
  27. Lee, S., Tsang, A., & Kwok, K. (2007). Twelve-month prevalence, correlates, and treatment preference of adults with DSM-IV major depressive episode in Hong Kong. Journal of Affective Disorders, 98(1–2), 129–136.Google Scholar
  28. Lollipop. (2013). Sammi Cheng opens up on her 3 year battle with depression. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/sammi-cheng-opens-her-3-year-battle-depression.
  29. McCutcheon, L. E., Lange, R., & Houran, J. (2002). Conceptualization and measure of celebrity worship. British Journal of Psychology, 93(1), 67–87.Google Scholar
  30. McGuire, W. J. (1985). Attitudes and attitude change. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 233–346). New York, NY: Random House.Google Scholar
  31. Moynihan, R. (2004). The intangible magic of celebrity marketing. PLoS Medicine, 1(2), 102–104.Google Scholar
  32. Ohanian, R. (1991). The impact of celebrity spokesperson’s perceived image on consumers’ intention to purchase. Journal of Advertising Research, 31(1), 46–52.Google Scholar
  33. Pollock, III P. H. (1994). Issues, values, and critical moments: Did ‘Magic’ Johnson transform public opinion on AIDS? American Journal of Political Science, 38(2), 426–446.Google Scholar
  34. World Health Organization. (2008). The global burden of disease: 2004 update. Geneva: WHO Press.Google Scholar
  35. World Health Organization. (2012). Depression. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong

Personalised recommendations