Announcers and confessors: How people self-disclose depression in health panels


Focus groups can be used to explore sensitive topics and have been found to increase the likelihood and depth of disclosure of personal and sensitive information in comparison to individual interviews. This article focuses on how people make self-disclosures in group research settings, specifically self-disclosure of depression. Data was collected from twelve health panel groups, held in Somerset, England. Health panels are a focus group-based method where members of the public are brought together to discuss a variety of topics including sensitive ones. The topic discussed by the health panel was attitudes to help-seeking for stress and depression. In this paper I conceptualize two new types of discloserwhich I term “announcers” and “confessors” and illustrate how normalizing language can facilitate disclosures. This study has important implications for focus group-based research and for health professionals who deal with stigmatized conditions such as depression.

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Coe, N. (2013) Announcers and confessors: How people self-disclose depression in health panels. Health, 5, 79-88. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.51011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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