- •There was extremely high recognition of depression among University students in Singapore.
- •The online HOPE intervention significantly reduced the perception of depression as ‘stress’ and significantly enhanced help-seeking intentions in the intervention group.
- •The online HOPE intervention also had significant improvements in the perceptions of usefulness of antidepressants, antipsychotics and tranquilizers.
Despite the high prevalence of mental health disorders, professional help seeking was often unsought, worsening impairments in overall functioning among those who experienced them.
This study aimed to evaluate the online HOPE intervention on help-seeking attitudes and intentions among young adults 18 to 24 years old in a University in Singapore. The study also described the process evaluation of the online HOPE intervention.
The study adopted a parallel two arms RCT. Outcome measurements measured at baseline, post-test and two-month follow-up were (1) recognition of depression, (2) barriers of help-seeking, (3) help-seeking intentions (4) attitudes about interventions, help sources, medications and (5) participants' perceptions about the intervention.
At post-test, intervention group had significantly lower acknowledgement of depression as stress. At two months, control group was significantly more concerned about side effects of medications. There were no significant differences in all barriers of help-seeking between groups, pre and post intervention. The intervention group had greater acknowledgement of antidepressants, tranquilisers and antipsychotics. Thematic analysis revealed four main themes.
There was high baseline recognition of depression. Improvements in help–seeking intentions were partially attributed to decreased help-seeking barriers.
Implication for practice
The online HOPE intervention could be promptly implemented for young adults to enhance the identification of mental health disorders, early help-seeking and recovery. Nurses played an important role in patient education, and online interventions are especially crucial during this Covid period which mandated social distancing. [NCT04266119].
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Published online: September 17, 2022
Accepted: September 11, 2022
Received in revised form: January 28, 2022
Received: September 22, 2021
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