Original Articles

Nurses' Experience of the Early Identification of Depression in the Primary Care Setting of South Africa

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 20, issue 2, 2010 , pages: 259–264
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2010.10820374
Author(s): Jeanette MaritzUniversity of Johannesburg,


The objective of this study was to explore and describe nurses' experience of the early identification of depression in the primary care setting of South Africa. A total of 55 female nurses participated in the study (50=black; 5=white). Data were collected through in-depth interviews and naïve sketches. Data were analysed using a descriptive method of open coding. Nurses' experiences were paradoxical in that they perceived both a disrupted and a positive interactional flow between the national health care, community, family and client. Their experiences were also influenced by context of practice—especially the inequitable distribution of resources. Lack of awareness about depression, community and family involvement, and nurses' personal awkwardness towards mental health issues remains a challenge.

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