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. 2008 Sep;5(3):167-75.

'It's Really a Myriad of Different Signals, Not Just the Textbook': The Complexities of Diagnosing Depression in Gay Men in General Practice

Free PMC article

'It's Really a Myriad of Different Signals, Not Just the Textbook': The Complexities of Diagnosing Depression in Gay Men in General Practice

Henrike Körner et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

This paper reports on in-depth interviews with general practitioners (GPs) about their views and experiences of diagnosing depression in gay men - some of whom are living with HIV - and the broader social contexts in which such a diagnosis is located. This analysis is a key outcome of a collaboration between social researchers, primary healthcare researchers, GPs and community partners, to investigate the management of depression in gay men in primary care settings. As the qualitative component of this project, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 GPs with high caseloads of gay men, in three geographical settings in Australia: Sydney, Adelaide and a rural-coastal town. GPs considered the diagnosis and management of depression to be an integral part of primary care, especially in gay male patients. They had a heightened sense of awareness that depression was common in the group of patients they were seeing. Central to diagnosing depression was the ongoing, long-term relationship GPs had with their gay male patients. GPs were vigilant and proactively inquired about depression, taking into account somatic, social and psychological indicators. In their approach to diagnosing depression, GPs considered not only the life circumstances of individual patients but also the broader social context of stigma related to homosexuality, and the effects that the HIV epidemic has had on individuals, especially on gay men who have been living with HIV for a long time.

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