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Psychiatric Briefs

Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2002;4(1):33-34

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​Objectives: This study evaluated the moderating effects of different coping strategies on the association between stressors and the prevalence of major depression in the general population. Method: The analysis included subjects from the Alberta (Canada) buy-in component (N = 1039) of the 1994–1995 National Population Health Survey (NPHS), each of whom were asked 8 questions regarding strategies for coping with unexpected stress arising from family problems and personal crises. The World Health Organization’s Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Short Form for major depression was used to diagnose major depression. Logistic regression modeling was used to examine interactions between coping and life stress, thus allowing determination of the impacts of coping strategies in relation to psychological stressors on the prevalence of major depression. Results: There was no robust impact of coping strategies in relation to various categories of stress evaluated in the NPHS. Results suggested that the risk in women of major depression in the presence of financial stress and relationship stress (with a partner) was moderated by the use of the coping strategies “pray and seek religious help” and “talks to others about the situations.” The risk of major depression in the presence of 1 or more recent life events, personal stress, relationship stress (with a partner), and environmental stress may be decreased in women by using emotional expression as a coping strategy. Conclusion: A differential impact on the prevalence of major depression in specific circumstances may be exhibited by different coping strategies. These findings may inform both prevention and treatment of depressive disorders.