Quantification and examination of depression-related mental health literacy

Kirsten I. Dunn, Robert D. Goldney, Eleonora Dal Grande, Anne Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The aim of the study was to create an algorithm to measure depression-related mental health literacy. Method Participants were those recruited for the 1998 and 2004 South Australian Health Omnibus Surveys. Two unprompted questions were selected from a mental health literacy questionnaire and responses were quantified through allocation of scores agreed by a focus group of mental health professionals. Results An application of the algorithm resulted in findings consistent with those of other research, providing face validity for the method developed. The application allowed for examination of overall levels of depression-related mental health literacy, with improvement found between 1998 and 2004. Similarly, differences in overall literacy according to demographics were also uncovered. Conclusions Tracking mental health literacy within populations is important as it has been shown to be related to individual help-seeking as well as provision of support for those with a mental disorder. The method devised in this study allows for comparisons of literacy levels to be made across populations and time. It also offers increased capacity for statistical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-653
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Mental health literacy
  • Quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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