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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Nov;199(11):879-85. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182349ea5.

Stigma, help-seeking attitudes, and use of psychotherapy in veterans with diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. craig.rosen@va.gov

Abstract

Survey and medical record data from 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who recently received diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were examined to determine need and predisposing factors associated with utilization of psychotherapy and counseling. More than half (58%) of participants initiated VA psychotherapy for PTSD within a year of diagnosis. Of those, one third completed eight or more sessions. Roughly two thirds of participants initiated counseling at a Vet Center. Initiating PTSD psychotherapy was associated with greater impairment but not with stigma, concerns about fitting in, or satisfaction with care. The use of Vet Center counseling was associated with desire for help, concerns about fitting in, and satisfaction with care. Unexpectedly, veterans with greater stigma concerns completed more psychotherapy visits and Vet Center counseling. Negative attitudes about mental health treatment did not seem to be substantial barriers to engaging in psychotherapy among these VA patients. Future research should consider enabling treatment system factors in addition to predisposing patient characteristics.

PMID:
22048141
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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