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Mental health literacy in Hmong and Cambodian elderly refugees: a barrier to understanding, recognizing, and responding to depression

TitleMental health literacy in Hmong and Cambodian elderly refugees: a barrier to understanding, recognizing, and responding to depression
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLee, HY, Lytle, K, Yang, PN, Lum, T
JournalInt J Aging Hum DevInt J Aging Hum Dev
Volume71
Pagination323-44
ISBN Number0091-4150 (Print)<br/>0091-4150 (Linking)
Accession Number21261138
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Anthropology, Cultural, Asia, Southeastern/ethnology, Asian Americans/ psychology, Attitude to Health/ ethnology, Cambodia/ethnology, Culture, Depressive Disorder/ ethnology/psychology/therapy, Female, Health Behavior/ethnology, Health Literacy/ statistics & numerical data, Health Services Accessibility, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Mental Health Services, Middle Aged, Minnesota/epidemiology
AbstractThis study aims to explore mental health literacy, specifically focusing on depression, among Southeast Asian (SEA) elderly refugees residing in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Three focus groups were held with nine mental health professionals who work with SEA elders. Jorm's mental health literacy framework guided the study theoretically. For data analysis, grounded theory was employed by utilizing MAX QDA2. Four themes emerged from the analysis: 1) lack of knowledge about specific mental disorders, 2) culture-specific knowledge and beliefs on the causes of depression, 3) lack of awareness about professional help, and 4) cultural attitudes toward seeking mental health services. The findings indicated that cultural beliefs of SEA elders impact their ability to understand, recognize, and respond to depression. Barriers to treatment were identified and recommendations were made to reduce mental health disparity in this elderly population.
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