Have education and publicity about depression made a difference? Comparison of prevalence, service use and excess costs in South Australia: 1998 and 2004

Robert Goldney, Laura Fisher, Eleonora Dal Grande, Anne Taylor, Graeme Hawthorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To identify changes in depression, its management and associated excess costs, between 1998 and 2004 in South Australia. Methods: A face-to-face Health Omnibus Survey was conducted in 2004 among 3015 randomly selected participants aged 15 years and over, who were a random and representative sample of the South Australian population, and this was compared with a survey conducted in 1998 that used the same methodology. The main outcome measures were prevalence of depression detected by the Mood Module of the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD); use of health services; health-related quality of life assessed by the Assessment of Quality of Life; estimates of excess costs and demographic data. Results: There was no significant change in the overall prevalence of depression, although there was a significant decrease in respondents with other depressions, and a non-significant increase in those with major depression. No significant differences in the mean number of PRIME-MD depression symptoms were reported. Greater use of predominantly non-medical treatment services and antidepressants were reported by both those with depression and those without depression. There was a marked increase in the associated excess costs of depression. Conclusions: There has been no significant improvement in the prevalence of depression and its associated morbidity and financial burden in the South Australian community between 1998 and 2004, despite a number of professional and community education programmes. It is possible that without these efforts and the increased treatment reported on in this survey, there may have been an increase in the prevalence of depression and an even greater financial burden. However, it is also possible that community services for the provision of treatment for depression have not been able to implement research strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Economic analysis
  • Health service utilization
  • Public health
  • Quality of life

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