Gender- and Trauma-Related Predictors of Use of Mental Health Treatment Services Among Primary Care Patients

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ObjectiveUse of mental health care was investigated as a function of gender, traumatic event frequency, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attitudes toward treatment among 194 primary care patients.MethodsPatients were recruited from primary care clinics, administered the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire, PTSD Symptom Scale, Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help-Short Form, and a survey on use of services.ResultsLifetime mental health treatment was related to increased frequency of traumatic events, positive attitudes toward treatment, and probable PTSD. Recent use of mental health care and intensity of use were related to female gender and greater frequency of trauma. Regression models yielded significant associations for trauma frequency, positive treatment attitudes, and female gender. Trauma and PTSD were associated with use more than gender and treatment attitudes were.ConclusionsUse of and adherence to treatment may be improved by targeting attitudes toward treatment.

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