A preliminary study of the clinical differences between dissociative and nondissociative depression in Hong Kong: implications for mental health practice

Hong Wang Fung, Chitat Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Depression is a serious public health issue, but not all patients with depression respond well to pharmaceutical treatments. Some scholars suggested that dissociation could be a marker indicating the types of patients with depression that may benefit more from psychosocial interventions than from pharmaceutical treatments. This study explored the possibility to differentiate dissociative depression and nondissociative depression in a clinical sample (N = 68) in the Chinese context, and discusses the potential implications for treatment considerations. Compared with the nondissociative group, the dissociative group reported higher occurrences of psychosocial etiological risk factors (e.g., childhood physical abuse, lack of help from family) and psychosocial-related symptoms (e.g., unstable relations, fear of abandonment, trauma-related flashbacks, somatization symptoms). Our initial findings revealed that patients with dissociative depression appeared to have distinct clinical features and might require more psychosocial interventions. Implications for health care research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-578
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


  • Depression
  • dissociative depression
  • dissociative disorders
  • major depressive disorder
  • mental health
  • pathological dissociation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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