Journal article

Do mental health surveys disturb?

AS Henderson, AF Jorm

Psychological Medicine | Published : 1990


We have tested the assumption that mental health surveys do not cause distress. At the end of a two-wave community survey of psychiatric symptoms and personality factors, respondents were asked specific questions about how the interviews affected them. Being interviewed was distressing for some individuals, but it was seen as beneficial by a larger number. Those reporting distress were more likely to have had neurotic symptoms prior to both interviews and to have personality characteristics which would indicate proneness to distress. Whether the distress lasted beyond the interview situation is unknown. These results suggest that surveys of mental health should tell intended respondents abou..

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