Illness Explanatory Model

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The aim of the Ekanayake, Ahmad and McKenzie (2011) study was to document the perceived causes of depression. Previous research identified that illness explanatory models (IEM) of depression differed in various populations and that no research had been conducted in Canada that examined these potential variants in ethnic minority groups. For this reason, they studied the largest ethnic minority i.e. individuals originating from South Asia and looked specifically at the perspectives of women who had contact with a primary care setting. It was hoped that uncovering the lay beliefs experienced by those suffering from the disorder, will aid treatment strategies and prevent health care discrimination. The GHQ-12 was used to screen for depression…show more content…
The knowledge of the professed factors that cause depression can aid researchers in tackling these problems and this could help the prevalence of the illness reduce in this population. Similarly, they may find a way to present depression in a way in which sufferers in this ethnic group will be more willing to seek help. Interventions that are congruent with the perceived causes may present the best methods of treatment and recovery. In this way, the mental health service gaps could be reduced. Future research could classify participants on their length of residence in the country to see if there are any differences in the perceived causes of depression and the willingness to approach health care services. By conducting the research in other countries, it would be possible to establish whether the precursors and stressors experienced by these women were experienced worldwide by immigrants or unique to racialized groups in Canada. On a smaller scale, the study could be replicated in other Canadian…show more content…
However, this may be due to the lack of formal diagnosis. This meant that they participants may have lacked the understanding and professional knowledge of depression and its full range of symptoms. A notable strength of the study is that it recognises that each patient will have a unique understanding of their depressive symptoms. In this way, approaches to treatment do not adhere to a ‘one size fits all ' policy. More work should look at ways of integrating alternative approaches to antidepressants as an initial method of treatment so that GPs can prove that there is more than one option. When being treated, patients should be involved in the decisions that determine their care so that they are given some of the control that they report losing with the illness. Both studies are insightful and demonstrate the positive influence that patient participation may have on successful

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