Treatment Recommendation Differences for Schizophrenia and Major Depression. A Population-Based Study in a Vietnamese Cohort
Böge, Kerem; Hahn, Eric; Cao, Tien Duc; Fuchs, Lukas Marian; Martensen, Lara Kim; Schomerus, Georg; Dettling, Michael; Angermeyer, Matthias; Nguyen, Van Tuan; Ta, Thi Minh Tam – 2018
Background In Vietnam, the mental health care infrastructure is on the verge of transformation with an increase in the demand for access to adequate and effective mental health care services. Public attitudes towards mental illness, as well as corresponding treatment options influence help-seeking behaviors of patients and caregivers, affecting the course of their treatment. This study assesses attitudes towards treatment options for depression and schizophrenia, as the two most common psychiatric disorders in Vietnam, accounting for at least 75% of all psychiatric inpatients. Methods A general population-based survey was conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam between April and August 2013. Participants received a description of a person with symptoms of either depression (n = 326) or schizophrenia (n = 403) and were asked to give recommendations for adequate sources of mental health support and treatment options. Multiple analyses on a single item level compared the likelihood of recommendation between schizophrenia and depression. Results Overall, respondents recommended health care services, ranging from seeking mental health care professionals, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists for both disorders. Psychotherapy was the most favored treatment method, whereas further treatment options, such as concentration and relaxation exercises, meditation or yoga and psychotropic medication were also endorsed as helpful. For the schizophrenia vignette condition, psychotherapy, visiting a psychiatrist or psychotherapist received stronger endorsement rates as compared to the depression vignette. Furthermore, ECT, Feng Shui-based practices, praying and visiting natural healers were recommended less by respondents for the depression vignette in comparison with the schizophrenia vignette. Conclusions The Vietnamese public endorsed evidence-based treatment recommendations from a variety of treatments options. Differences in the treatment recommendations between depression and schizophrenia reflected the perceived severity of each disorder. Further developments of the Vietnamese mental health care system concerning mental health care providers, as well as the legal regulations surrounding the provision of psychotherapy are needed.