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Social influences on mental health help-seeking after interpersonal traumatization: a qualitative analysis


Schreiber, V; Maercker, Andreas; Renneberg, B (2010). Social influences on mental health help-seeking after interpersonal traumatization: a qualitative analysis. BMC Public Health, 10:634-643.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite frequent and serious mental health problems after interpersonal traumatization, only a fraction of those affected by interpersonal violence seek formal help after the event. Reasons for this mismatch can be found in the individual help-seeking process but also in the individual's social environment. These social factors are explored based on a model describing the survivor's help-seeking process.
METHOD: Survivors of interpersonal traumatization and professionals providing help for this population were asked about factors influencing the ease of seeking and receiving professional help after interpersonal traumatization. A deductive and inductive content analysis of the experiences of 43 survivors of interpersonal traumatization and 16 professionals providing help for this population was carried out.
RESULTS: The analysis suggested a clear distinction of an individual and a social system level of influencing variables. At the system level three main factors were identified: factors of the help-system, dominant attitudes in society and public knowledge about traumatization and available help.
CONCLUSIONS: The results confirmed a complex interaction of variables on the individual and system level in the help-seeking process. The system level affects the individual's help-seeking through multiple pathways, especially through the individual's representation of the traumatization, through the reactions of the individual's social network and through barriers the individual perceives or experiences in the formal help-system.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite frequent and serious mental health problems after interpersonal traumatization, only a fraction of those affected by interpersonal violence seek formal help after the event. Reasons for this mismatch can be found in the individual help-seeking process but also in the individual's social environment. These social factors are explored based on a model describing the survivor's help-seeking process.
METHOD: Survivors of interpersonal traumatization and professionals providing help for this population were asked about factors influencing the ease of seeking and receiving professional help after interpersonal traumatization. A deductive and inductive content analysis of the experiences of 43 survivors of interpersonal traumatization and 16 professionals providing help for this population was carried out.
RESULTS: The analysis suggested a clear distinction of an individual and a social system level of influencing variables. At the system level three main factors were identified: factors of the help-system, dominant attitudes in society and public knowledge about traumatization and available help.
CONCLUSIONS: The results confirmed a complex interaction of variables on the individual and system level in the help-seeking process. The system level affects the individual's help-seeking through multiple pathways, especially through the individual's representation of the traumatization, through the reactions of the individual's social network and through barriers the individual perceives or experiences in the formal help-system.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:16 Sep 2011 12:28
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 09:04
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-10-634
PubMed ID:20964871

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