Depression literacy among Chinese stroke survivors

A.C.K. Lee*, S.W. Tang, S.S.K. Leung, G.K.K. Yu, R.T.F. Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Mental health literacy is fundamental to the pursuit of health. Little is known about patients' literacy levels regarding depression even though it is common among elderly stroke survivors. This paper will report the level of mental health literacy and thematic constructs of depression interpreted by a group of stroke survivors.

Method: Qualitative data on patients' understanding of 'depression' in Chinese were translated and analyzed by an academic and a researcher separately to identify emerging constructs using a thematic approach. Out of 214 ischemic stroke older adults, aged 50+, 85 were able to explain the term in their own words after their first stroke attack.

Results: The majority of stroke patients (60%, 129 out of 214) had never heard of depression and only four referred to it as a medical disease. Only a third would like to learn more about depression. Older Chinese adults depicted depression mainly by using words in the cognitive and affective domains, but the descriptors used were mostly non-specific and might not match the diagnostic criteria for depression or the commonly used screening tools.

Conclusion: Low mental health literacy among older patients indicated that much more work needs to be done in health promotion and education on depression literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Depression after stroke
  • Depression literacy
  • Mental health
  • Older adults


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