Public attitudes towards the acceptability of using drugs to treat depression and ADHD

Partridge, Brad, Lucke, Jayne and Hall, Wayne (2012) Public attitudes towards the acceptability of using drugs to treat depression and ADHD. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46 10: 958-965. doi:10.1177/0004867412450755

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Author Partridge, Brad
Lucke, Jayne
Hall, Wayne
Title Public attitudes towards the acceptability of using drugs to treat depression and ADHD
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8674
1440-1614
Publication date 2012-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0004867412450755
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 46
Issue 10
Start page 958
End page 965
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: This paper examines public attitudes towards the acceptability of using prescription drugs to treat depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and whether attitudes are influenced by familiarity with the use of pharmacological treatments for these disorders.

Method: Participants were 1265 members of the general public aged 18–101 years (50% female) participating in the Queensland Social Survey (QSS), an omnibus state-wide survey of households in the state of Queensland. The survey was administered through a CATI (computer-assisted telephone interviewing) system.

Results: Most members of the public thought that the drug treatment of depression was acceptable (55%) but attitudes were much less positive towards the use of drugs to treat ADHD (35.6% acceptable). Regression analyses showed that respondents who knew someone who had received pharmacological treatment for depression were more likely to find it acceptable. However, participants were divided about the acceptability of drug treatment for ADHD regardless of whether they knew someone who had received drug treatment for ADHD or not. Participants with a higher level of education were more likely to find drug treatment for depression and ADHD acceptable. Participants who did not know anyone who had received drug treatment were less likely to have a definite opinion on whether it was acceptable or unacceptable.

Conclusions: Attitudes towards the acceptability of the use of prescription drugs are more positive for depression than for ADHD. This may broadly reflect ongoing controversies in the public sphere about the potential over-diagnosis of ADHD or overmedication of children with ADHD. Members of the public who do not know anyone with depression or ADHD may need particular information from prescribers in the event that they (or their child) are diagnosed.
Keyword Anti-depressants
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Depression
Public opinion
Stimulants
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online before print: 11 June 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2013 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 15 Nov 2012, 11:10:04 EST by System User on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research