Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-45

Depression outcome expectancy in primary care in Singapore: Symptom severity as a mediating determinant

1 Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Singapore
2 Psychology Services, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Chee Khong Yap
22, Jln BS3/7, Bukit Serdang, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_442_18

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Background: Depression has been identified as the most common mental illness in Singapore. To address this growing concern, the current study focused on the population within the primary care setting since depression has been demonstrated to be highly prevalent in these patients. This study examined the possible predictors of outcome expectancy based on illness perception and depression severity. Methods: One hundred and one adult patients with depressive symptoms in primary care were recruited for a cross-sectional study. Positive outcome expectancy was measured using the Depression Change Expectancy Scale, and illness perception was measured using the Illness Perception Questionnaire Mental Health. Depression severity was derived from the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores extracted from the participants' medical records. Regression and mediation analyses were applied to explore possible predictors of positive outcome expectancy. Results: Regression analysis demonstrated that symptom severity, and specific dimensions under illness perception (i.e., perception of chronicity, perception of personal control, and perception of treatment control) were the most significant predictors of positive outcome expectancy. Mediation analysis found that symptom severity partially mediated the relationship between perception of chronicity and positive outcome expectancy. Conclusions: Pharmacotherapy, interventions from allied health professionals, and psychotherapeutic interventions (e.g., strategies from positive psychology, solution-focused therapy, and strengths-based cognitive behavioral therapy) that aim to directly alleviate depressive symptoms as well as improve the perceptions of chronicity, personal control, and treatment control could potentially enhance treatment benefits in primary care patients with depression.

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