EXPLORING CULTURAL FACTORS IN THE PERCEPTION AND TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION: A QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THE INFLUENCE OF CULTURAL BELIEFS AND VALUES ON THE EXPERIENCE EXPRESSION AND MANAGEMENT OF DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS

Main Article Content

Muhammad Hussain
Dr. Hina Rana
Rabbia Ashraf
Saira Khurram
Zeeshan Mehfooz Sindhu

Keywords

Depression, cultural factors, mental illness, health intervention, health services, cultural barriers

Abstract

Depression, a global mental health concern, is experienced and addressed through diverse cultural lenses. This mix method research investigates the impact of cultural factors on the perception and treatment of depression, recognizing the profound influence of cultural beliefs and values on individuals' experiences with depressive symptoms. The study aimed to unravel the complex interplay between culture and mental health, contributing to a more nuanced understanding of depression within diverse cultural contexts. The ultimate purpose of this study wass to explore the different cultural factors and variables related to perception and treatment of depression, including peoples’ attitudes towards the influence of cultural beliefs, distress level, social support, and people's perceptions of treatment on depression symptoms approaches. The data were collected in focus groups and through individual interviews with the research participants and analyzed by qualitative content analysis of the gathered data. In-depth Interview technique was applied with the participants of the research.  The data were analyzed using a thematic framework analysis by identifying emerging themes and categories Participants (N= 200) were college students currently enrolled in Punjab University Lahore, and members of the general community population (n=200).  College participants received required experimental credit as stipulated by their psychology courses or volunteered with no compensation. Community participants were recruited via a local community agency and a local fitness center and support club. This study particularly focused on the population in both the college and community settings.  A stratified sampling technique was used to conduct this research. Results of the study were uncovered via thematic analysis of the participants’ interviews as well as via tables using software of Statistical Package for Social Science.

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