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An examination of predictors of mental health, efficacy and dissemination of a group education program for carers of people with depression
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 00:05 authored by Katherine M. McGill
Depression affects one million Australians every year and family and friends (“carers”) provide the majority of day-to-day practical and emotional support to people in the community experiencing depression. Carers of people with depression face many specific challenges and are consistently shown to have much higher rates of mental ill-health than the general population. There is an emerging evidence base about the potential benefits of group education programs for carers of people with mental illness; however, there are only a few interventions that have been developed specifically for carers of people with depression that are also delivered independently of the treatment for the person being supported. The purpose of this program of research was to examine the mental health of Australian carers of people with depression and to investigate the efficacy of a specific carer intervention and the factors that affected the dissemination of this intervention. Three studies were conducted. In the first study, linear regression was used to examine the predictors of mental health in self-identified Australian carers of people with depression. The second study investigated the efficacy of the nationally disseminated Partners in Depression program, a group education course for carers of people with depression. In the third study, multinomial logistic regression was used to investigate individual, service and macro level predictors of delivery of the Partners in Depression program during the national dissemination period. Taken together, the findings from this program of research demonstrate the vulnerability of Australian carers of people with depression to mental ill-health, the potential benefits offered by a group education program developed specifically to address the information and support needs of this target group, and the barriers to dissemination of such an intervention in Australia. Having family and carer inclusive approaches embedded into routine mental health care would increase the capacity of the health system to respond to carer needs and strengthen the resilience and recovery of all of people whose lives have been affected by depression.