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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(3): 876-884

Public awareness towards depression in Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia

Nashmi Salom Aletesh, Sultan Abdulrahman Alamrani, Osama Hamza Alshreef, Ziyad Mohammed Alsharif, Mujahed Mohammed Alshehri, Hajar Mohammad Nasser Falah, Rose Mahmood Ali, Yara Nashmi Al-Etesh, Shahd Saud Faleh Almubarak.


Background: Depression is a common illness worldwide, affecting about 10% of the population with more than 264 million people being globally affected. Thereby, this study aimed to assess the public awareness towards depression in Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia, and to explore the relationship between the level of awareness and different socio-demographic factors.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among the general public of Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia, during the time period of December 2020 to January 2021. The estimated sample size was 384 and was adjusted to 422 to compensate for the 10% non-response rate. The study was conducted using an online self-administered questionnaire via Google Form.
Results: Out of the total 425 participants, 56.2% were males. The most commonly reported source of information towards depression in Al- jouf area was social media (58.6%). In addition, 16.7% of participants had a history of diagnosis with depression. The participants who correctly answered 75% of the awareness questions were 26.4%. The majority of the participants (96.2%) knew at least one symptom of depression. Almost 62.4% of participants knew that females are more susceptible to depression, 75.3% agreed it could affect children and young adults, and 76.5% thought that a person who faces difficult situations is more susceptible to depression. The most commonly reported barriers that prevent depressed patients from seeking help was the stigma of psychiatric illness (37.4%).
Conclusion: The general population in Al-Jouf has a moderate-to-low level of awareness towards depression, and still, there is a high level of stigma associated with depression and the practice of seeking medical treatment. So more campaigns for improvement public awareness toward depression are needed.

Key words: Depression, awareness, public, Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia.

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