Presenter Information

Elaine LoboFollow

Start Date

17-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

17-11-2017 11:30 AM

Description

PERCEIVED STIGMAS AND BARRIERS FOR VETERANS WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS

Elaine Lobo

Faculty Sponsor: Kim Siarkowski Amer, PhD, RN

Background: Research has shown a low percentage of veterans taking advantage of mental health services.

Objectives: Evaluate the help-seeking behaviors of veterans screening positive for mental health problems and determine the most common modifiable risk factors of perceived stigma and barriers to mental health underutilization.

Method: An integrative review of literature using Whittemore and Knafl’s updated methodology was performed. A total of nine articles were selected and reviewed independently for comparison.

Findings/Results: No more than 39% of veterans screening positive for at least one mental health disorder in any study sought mental health care post military service. Veterans reported choosing initially to cope on their own without medical treatment and sometimes using non evidence-based forms of relief with some turning to substance abuse. Negative beliefs on mental health care were also associated with the underutilization of mental health services. However, veterans with more severe mental disorders were more likely to seek and accept treatment despite perceived stigma. The literature review also identified perceived stigma, rather than institutional barriers, as the most consistent reason for veterans not seeking mental health services. The most common stigma related barrier identified by all of the studies was fear of social consequences.

Conclusion: Future research should focus on increasing the engagement for mental health treatment through cognitive-behavioral or motivational interventions for veterans in an effort to help veterans overcome stigma and decrease underutilization of mental health care. Additionally, research on military policy, as well as mental health support and promotion by military leaders may also be beneficial considering decreased perceived unit support was identified as the second most common barrier to mental health help-seeking behavior.

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Nov 17th, 10:00 AM Nov 17th, 11:30 AM

Perceived Stigmas and Barriers for Veterans with Mental Health Disorders

PERCEIVED STIGMAS AND BARRIERS FOR VETERANS WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS

Elaine Lobo

Faculty Sponsor: Kim Siarkowski Amer, PhD, RN

Background: Research has shown a low percentage of veterans taking advantage of mental health services.

Objectives: Evaluate the help-seeking behaviors of veterans screening positive for mental health problems and determine the most common modifiable risk factors of perceived stigma and barriers to mental health underutilization.

Method: An integrative review of literature using Whittemore and Knafl’s updated methodology was performed. A total of nine articles were selected and reviewed independently for comparison.

Findings/Results: No more than 39% of veterans screening positive for at least one mental health disorder in any study sought mental health care post military service. Veterans reported choosing initially to cope on their own without medical treatment and sometimes using non evidence-based forms of relief with some turning to substance abuse. Negative beliefs on mental health care were also associated with the underutilization of mental health services. However, veterans with more severe mental disorders were more likely to seek and accept treatment despite perceived stigma. The literature review also identified perceived stigma, rather than institutional barriers, as the most consistent reason for veterans not seeking mental health services. The most common stigma related barrier identified by all of the studies was fear of social consequences.

Conclusion: Future research should focus on increasing the engagement for mental health treatment through cognitive-behavioral or motivational interventions for veterans in an effort to help veterans overcome stigma and decrease underutilization of mental health care. Additionally, research on military policy, as well as mental health support and promotion by military leaders may also be beneficial considering decreased perceived unit support was identified as the second most common barrier to mental health help-seeking behavior.

 

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