Unmet depression information needs in the community

Kathleen M. Griffiths, Dimity A. Crisp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite the well acknowledged importance of consumer health information, little is known about the public's depression information needs. This study aimed to develop a formal measure of unmet need for depression information in the community, to investigate the level of this unmet need and to identify its predictors. Methods: Data were collected as part of a survey of 12,319 Australian adults aged 18-65 years. This survey incorporated 21 questions targeting depression information need, together with measures of demographic status, self-reported current depression and personal stigma. The information needs data were subjected to principal components analysis followed by linear regression analyses to determine the demographic and other predictors of each of the resulting components. Results: Between 50 and 75% of participants endorsed the need for more information on each of the 21 information need topics. The PCA yielded a 20-item Depression Information Needs Scale (DINS) of high reliability and factor validity comprising four subscales: General (facts about depression), Specific Treatments, Research and Policies, and Lived Experience. Controlling for other factors, those with self-reported current depression and those without tertiary education had greater information needs across all four factors. Limitations: The survey response rate was low and further research is required to establish the adequacy of the psychometric properties of the DINS. Conclusions: Given the high unmet need for depression information there is a need to develop and implement evidence-based strategies for ensuring the accessibility and uptake of depression information relevant to the needs of members of the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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