Young people with depression and their satisfaction with the quality of care they receive from a primary care youth mental health service: a qualitative study

J Clin Nurs. 2012 Aug;21(15-16):2179-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04086.x. Epub 2012 May 30.


Aim: To examine how satisfied young people with depression are with the quality of care they receive from clinicians of a primary care service for young people with mental health problems.

Background: There is a high prevalence of youth depression, but few studies have been undertaken to examine whether young people are satisfied with the care they receive in primary care youth mental health services.

Design: Qualitative interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Method: Individual, semi-structured, in-depth, audio-recorded interviews were carried out between March and September 2009. A purposive sample of 26 young people with depression, average age 18 years, were recruited through clinicians of a primary care service for young people with mental health problems, in Melbourne.

Results: Three overlapping themes highlight youth participants' satisfaction with care: First, clinicians being youth-friendly, highlights how, overall, clinicians are perceived as approachable and supportive, understanding and non-judgemental. Second, clinicians adopting a broad-based style of care illustrates that their use primarily of psychosocial therapies, and the judicious use of antidepressant medication, is received favourably by youth. Third, care facilitating recovery highlights that clinicians' youth-friendly and broad-based approach enables a therapeutic dialogue to be established with the young people, contributing to recovery from depression; recovery, in turn, enhances satisfaction with clinicians.

Conclusion: Youth-friendliness is an important expectation of mental health nurses and other clinicians within the youth service. This engagement style provides a useful framework for clinicians to adopt a broad-based approach to care. Ultimately, care should facilitate recovery from depression, and this strengthens satisfaction with mental health nurses and other clinicians.

Relevance to clinical practice: The findings make an important contribution to knowledge and research in mental health nursing. In particular, youth-friendliness is an important prerequisite for continuing engagement with services, and a broad-based approach to care should be adopted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Young Adult