Modeling Mental Health Information Preferences During the Early Adult Years: A Discrete Choice Conjoint Experiment
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Although most young adults with mood and anxiety disorders do not seek treatment, those who are better informed about mental health problems are more likely to use services. The authors used conjoint analysis to model strategies for providing information about anxiety and depression to young adults. Participants (N = 1,035) completed 17 choice tasks presenting combinations of 15 four-level attributes of a mental health information strategy. Latent class analysis yielded 3 segments. The virtual segment (28.7%) preferred working independently on the Internet to obtain information recommended by young adults who had experienced anxiety or depression. Self-assessment options and links to service providers were more important to this segment. Conventional participants (30.1%) preferred books or pamphlets recommended by a doctor, endorsed by mental health professionals, and used with a doctor's support. They would devote more time to information acquisition but were less likely to use Internet social networking options. Brief sources of information were more important to the low interest segment (41.2%). All segments preferred information about alternative ways to reduce anxiety or depression rather than psychological approaches or medication. Maximizing the use of information requires active and passive approaches delivered through old-media (e.g., books) and new-media (e.g., Internet) channels.
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