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Psychiatry Investigation 2007;4(2):116-20.
Which Depressive Symptoms are Associated with Help-Seeking Behavior?
Byung Eun An, MD1;Soul Choi, MD1;Seong Kweon Jeong, MD2; and Yun-Mi Shin, MD1;
1;Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, 2;Yoon's Neuropsychiatric Clinic, Pyeongtaek, Korea
Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of perceived need and help-seeking behaviors on mental health problems in Korea and investigate which depressive symptoms are associated with help-seeking behavior.

Methods
: Participants were selected from a random sample of 365 people in 3 different Korean cities. A self-reported survey assessing the effect of perceived need and help-seeking behavior on mental health problems and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were performed. Participants were divided into 3 groups, 1) those with perceived need and help-seeking behavior (PN with HS) 2) those with only perceived need (only PN) 3) those without perceived need (no PN). The intergroup differences in each specific symptom (affective, cognitive, neurovegetative) of the BDI were analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Bonferroni's post hoc test.

Results
: 139 (40.9%) of the respondents exhibited perceived need, while only 40 (28.7%) demonstrated help-seeking behavior. The mean score of neurovegetative symptoms was significantly higher in the subjects with help-seeking behaviors (PN with HS) than in those without help-seeking behaviors (only PN, no PN).

Conclusion
: Only a small proportion (11.8%) of the sample ever sought help for mental problems, in spite of the high lifetime prevalence of depression. Lack of understanding of psychiatric problems is one of the major barriers to seeking help for mental health problems, indicating that widespread psychoeducation is needed to solve the disparity between the unmet needs and receipt of mental health services.

Key words   Depression;Help-seeking;Community.
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