Mental Health Literacy Among Korean American Elders

Summary

Principal Investigator: Yuri Jang
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The proposed study is written in response to the heightened need for research designed to help reduce mental health disparities. The investigation focuses on one of the fastest growing but understudied and underserved ethnic minority groups: Korean American elders. Building upon our previous findings that Korean American older adults have high levels of mental health problems yet underutilize mental health services, the proposed study conceptualizes low mental health literacy as a major reason for service underutilization and a central focus of intervention efforts. The overall goals are to better understand the levels of mental health literacy manifest in the target population and to develop/test an educational intervention. The proposed study includes three phases: (1) data collection with a mixed methodology including a survey and focus groups;(2) development of an educational intervention program, and (3) pilot testing and evaluation. Survey data drawing on structured questionnaires will be used to assess the level of mental health literacy and to determine facilitators and barriers of mental health literacy. In order to provide a more in-depth assessment of mental health literacy, data from focus groups will also be used. The latter discussions will be conducted with Korean American older adults, their family members, health care professionals, and religious leaders. Various mental health issues and ways to promote community mental health and service utilization will serve as focal points for diverse perspectives. Findings from the survey data and focus groups will guide the development of a culturally appropriate and acceptable educational intervention program. An educational brochure in Korean will be written with the twin goals of increasing mental health literacy and making positive changes in attitudes toward mental disorders and service utilization. We will also adopt a peer-led education strategy where lay peer leaders are trained to deliver an educational session. The session includes not only the brochure but also peer-education and group discussion. The peer-based approach allows greater sensitivity to the unique characteristics of ethnic minority communities, where informal leaders play a significant role. During the third and final phase, an experiment with three randomized conditions (control, general brochure, and peer-led education) will be conducted to explore the effectiveness of the educational brochure and peer-led education strategy. We hypothesize that 1) those in the treatment groups (general brochure and peer-led education) would show increased knowledge of depression and positive changes in attitudes toward mental illness and service use compared to those in the control group, and 2) peer-led education would be more effective than the brochure-only approach. Pilot testing and evaluation will serve as an important means to assess effect size of intervention and feasibility of the program for implementation in a subsequent project. We also hope to use our findings to develop a protocol for application to other ethnic minority groups. Public Health Relevance: Building upon previous findings that Korean American older adults have high levels of mental health problems yet underutilize mental health services, the proposed study conceptualizes low mental health literacy as a major reason for service underutilization and a central focus of intervention efforts. The overall goals of the study are (1) to better understand the levels of mental health literacy manifest in the target population and (2) to develop/test an educational intervention.
Funding Period: 2008-03-01 - 2010-02-28
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Diabetes and depressive symptoms among Korean American older adults: the mediating role of subjective health perceptions
    Yuri Jang
    School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, United States
    Diabetes Res Clin Pract 97:432-7. 2012
  2. pmc The mediating role of loneliness in the relation between social engagement and depressive symptoms among older Korean Americans: do men and women differ?
    Nan Sook Park
    School of Social Work, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
    J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 68:193-201. 2013
  3. pmc Knowledge of Alzheimer's disease, feelings of shame, and awareness of services among Korean American elders
    - Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
    J Aging Health 22:419-33. 2010
  4. pmc Willingness of older Korean-American adults to use hospice
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA
    J Am Geriatr Soc 58:352-6. 2010
  5. pmc Not saying I am happy does not mean I am not: cultural influences on responses to positive affect items in the CES-D
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B Downs Boulevard, MHC 1400, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
    J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 65:684-90. 2010
  6. ncbi The interactive role of chronic medical conditions and sleep disturbance in predicting depressive symptoms among Korean American older adults
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
    Aging Ment Health 15:198-203. 2011
  7. ncbi Social activity and depressive symptoms in Korean American older adults: the conditioning role of acculturation
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
    J Aging Health 23:767-81. 2011

Scientific Experts

  • Yuri Jang
  • Nan Sook Park
  • - Yuri Jang
  • William E Haley
  • David A Chiriboga
  • Beom S Lee
  • David Chiriboga
  • Giyeon Kim

Detail Information

Publications7

  1. pmc Diabetes and depressive symptoms among Korean American older adults: the mediating role of subjective health perceptions
    Yuri Jang
    School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, United States
    Diabetes Res Clin Pract 97:432-7. 2012
    ....
  2. pmc The mediating role of loneliness in the relation between social engagement and depressive symptoms among older Korean Americans: do men and women differ?
    Nan Sook Park
    School of Social Work, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
    J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 68:193-201. 2013
    ..Various indices of social engagement were considered including living arrangement, social network, and activity participation...
  3. pmc Knowledge of Alzheimer's disease, feelings of shame, and awareness of services among Korean American elders
    - Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
    J Aging Health 22:419-33. 2010
    ..To explore predictors of knowledge of Alzheimer's disease (AD), feelings of shame if a family member were to have AD, and awareness of AD-related services among Korean American elders...
  4. pmc Willingness of older Korean-American adults to use hospice
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA
    J Am Geriatr Soc 58:352-6. 2010
    ....
  5. pmc Not saying I am happy does not mean I am not: cultural influences on responses to positive affect items in the CES-D
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B Downs Boulevard, MHC 1400, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
    J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 65:684-90. 2010
    ..The samples consisted of elderly non-Hispanic Whites (n = 450), Korean Americans (n = 519), and Koreans (n = 2,030)...
  6. ncbi The interactive role of chronic medical conditions and sleep disturbance in predicting depressive symptoms among Korean American older adults
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
    Aging Ment Health 15:198-203. 2011
    ..The sample (N = 675) consisted of community-dwelling Korean American older adults, a group that has been found to be particularly high in depressive symptomatology...
  7. ncbi Social activity and depressive symptoms in Korean American older adults: the conditioning role of acculturation
    Yuri Jang
    Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
    J Aging Health 23:767-81. 2011
    ..This study examined the independent and interactive effects of acculturation and social activity on depressive symptoms...