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The Getting it Right study determined the validity, sensitivity, specificity and acceptability of the culturally adapted 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (aPHQ-9) as a screening tool for depression in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (hereafter referred to as Indigenous) people. In this process evaluation we aimed to explore staff perceptions about whether Getting it Right was conducted per protocol, and if the aPHQ-9 was considered an acceptable and feasible screening tool for depression in primary healthcare. This process evaluation will provide information for clinicians and policy makers about the experiences of staff and patients with Getting it Right and what they thought about using the aPHQ-9.
Process evaluation using grounded theory approaches. Semi-structured interviews with primary healthcare staff from services participating in Getting it Right were triangulated with feedback (free-text and elicited) from participants collected during the validation study and field notes. Data were thematically analysed according to the Getting it Right study protocol to identify the acceptability and feasibility of the aPHQ-9.
Primary healthcare staff (n = 36) and community members (n = 4) from nine of the ten participating Getting it Right services and Indigenous participants (n = 500) from the ten services that took part. Most staff reported that the research was conducted according to the study protocol. Staff from two services reported sometimes recruiting opportunistically (rather than recruiting consecutive patients attending the service as outlined in the main study protocol), when they spoke to patients who they knew from previous interactions, because they perceived their previous relationship may increase the likelihood of patients participating. All Getting it Right participants responded to at least six of the seven feedback questions and 20% provided free-text feedback. Most staff said they would use the aPHQ-9 and most participants said that the questions were easy to understand (87%), the response categories made sense (89%) and that they felt comfortable answering the questions (91%).
Getting it Right was predominantly conducted according to the study protocol. The aPHQ-9, the first culturally adapted, nationally validated, freely available depression screening tool for use by Indigenous people, appears to be acceptable and feasible to use.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ANZCTR12614000705684, 03/07/2014.