Causal explanations of depression on perceptions of and likelihood to choose cognitive behavioural therapy and antidepressant medications as depression treatments

Lisa M. Watson, Shadi Beshai

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: This research examined whether people’s causal explanations of depression were associated with acceptability and efficacy-related treatment perceptions and likelihood to choose cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medication (ADM) as depression treatments. Design: A cross-sectional internet-based design was used. Methods: A general population sample was used over a clinical sample to study those who had not yet chosen to enter treatment. A total of 422 individuals were recruited through a crowdsourcing platform to complete an online survey. Measures included perceived causes of depression, perceived acceptability, efficacy and choice likelihood for ADM and CBT, and demographics. Results: Those with biological causal explanations of depression were more favourable towards ADM on all three perceptual measures of acceptability, efficacy and likelihood to choose ADM as a treatment for depression. Personality/character-related causal explanations of depression were positively related to perceived efficacy and likelihood to choose CBT as a depression treatment. Those endorsing environmental stress causes of depression were more likely to choose CBT as a treatment for depression. Conclusions: Results indicated that people’s beliefs about the causes of depression were related to their perceptions of and likelihoods to choose ADM and CBT as depression treatments. Practitioner Points: Provides evidence of how different causal explanations of depression influence sufferers’ likelihoods to choose ADM and CBT as possible treatments for their depression. Provides support for exploring potential patients’ causal explanations about depression prior to recommending a treatment regimen.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-216
    Number of pages16
    JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
    Volume94
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun. 2021

    Keywords

    • acceptability
    • antidepressant medication
    • causal explanations
    • causes of depression
    • cognitive behavioural therapy
    • depression
    • depression treatment
    • efficacy
    • treatment perceptions

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