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Discussing Depression with Vietnamese American Patients

  • Author(s): Fancher, Tonya L.
  • Ton, Hendry
  • Meyer, Oanh
  • Ho, Thuan
  • Paterniti, Debora A.
  • et al.
Abstract

Background Asian patients preferentially seek mental health care from their primary care providers but are unlikely to receive it. Primary care providers need culturally-informed strategies for addressing stigmatizing illnesses. Methods 11 Vietnamese American community members participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. The grounded theory approach was used for qualitative coding and thematic analysis. Results Vietnamese community members describe experiences with depression under four themes: (1) Stigma and face; (2) Social functioning and the role of the family; (3) Traditional healing and beliefs about medications; and (4) Language and culture. Based on this data, we offer suggestions for improving culturally-informed care for Vietnamese Americans. Disucssion Our study adds to the research aimed at improving communication and health care relationships between physicians and Vietnamese American patients. Physicians should learn to tailor their interviewing style to the increasingly diverse patient population.

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