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Psychol Med. 2011 Aug;41(8):1751-61. doi: 10.1017/S0033291710002291. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Barriers to mental health treatment: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Author information

1
Department of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim was to examine barriers to initiation and continuation of treatment among individuals with common mental disorders in the US general population.

METHOD:

Respondents in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication with common 12-month DSM-IV mood, anxiety, substance, impulse control and childhood disorders were asked about perceived need for treatment, structural barriers and attitudinal/evaluative barriers to initiation and continuation of treatment.

RESULTS:

Low perceived need was reported by 44.8% of respondents with a disorder who did not seek treatment. Desire to handle the problem on one's own was the most common reason among respondents with perceived need both for not seeking treatment (72.6%) and for dropping out of treatment (42.2%). Attitudinal/evaluative factors were much more important than structural barriers both to initiating (97.4% v. 22.2%) and to continuing (81.9% v. 31.8%) of treatment. Reasons for not seeking treatment varied with illness severity. Low perceived need was a more common reason for not seeking treatment among individuals with mild (57.0%) than moderate (39.3%) or severe (25.9%) disorders, whereas structural and attitudinal/evaluative barriers were more common among respondents with more severe conditions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Low perceived need and attitudinal/evaluative barriers are the major barriers to treatment seeking and staying in treatment among individuals with common mental disorders. Efforts to increase treatment seeking and reduce treatment drop-out need to take these barriers into consideration as well as to recognize that barriers differ as a function of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.

PMID:
21134315
PMCID:
PMC3128692
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291710002291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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