There is disagreement in the literature as to whether biological attribution increases or decreases stigma. This study investigated the effect of an online biological intervention on stigma and help-seeking intentions for depression among adolescents. A three-arm, pre-post test, double-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT) was used to compare the effects of a biological and a psychosocial intervention delivered online. Participants comprised secondary school students (N = 327) aged 16–19 years. Outcome measures included anticipated self-stigma for depression (primary), personal stigma, help-seeking intention for depression, and biological and psychosocial attribution. Neither the biological nor the psychosocial educational intervention significantly reduced anticipated self-stigma or personal stigma for depression relative to the control. However, a small increase in help-seeking intention for depression relative to the control was found for the biological educational condition. The study was undertaken over a single session and it is unknown whether the intervention effect on help-seeking intentions was sustained or would translate into help-seeking behaviour. A brief online biological education intervention did not alter stigma, but did promote a small increase in help-seeking intentions for depression among adolescents. This type of intervention may be a practical means for facilitating help-seeking among adolescents with current or future depression treatment needs.
Howard, K. A., Griffiths, K. M., Mcketin, R., & Ma, J. (2018). Can a brief biologically-based psychoeducational intervention reduce stigma and increase help-seeking intentions for depression in young people? A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 30(1), 27-39. https://doi.org/10.2989/17280583.2018.1467323