This paper reports register data concerning somatic and psychiatric hospital care on 117 battered women who were identified in a surgical emergency department and offered a treatment program. Data were collected during a period of 10 years before to 5 years after the battering in question. It was concluded that the battered woman seeks hospital care much more than the average woman of the same age. It is, however, not only traumatic injuries that bring her to the hospital, but also medical, gynecological, psychiatric, and unspecified disorders and suicide attempts. In this study it was hypothesized that this overuse of hospital care reflects the situation at home characterized by ongoing battering and other psychosocial problems. During the 5 years following the battering, the women did not show any signs of reducing their use of hospital care. It is alarming that this high use of medical care continues over years, and doctors should consider battering as one possible explanation for this phenomenon.
Help-seeking and service utilization depends on the patients' interpretation of their illness and treatment needs. Worry, denial of illness, need for treatment and need for hospitalization in first-time admitted patients was studied.
New patients in two mental hospitals were consecutively recruited. Three hundred and thirty-four satisfied the inclusion criteria and 251 gave informed consent. One hundred and ninety-six had complete datasets (56% of those eligible).
Demography was recorded with the Minimal Basic Dataset by Ruud et al. (1993). Experiences of hospitalisation were measured with the Patient's Experience of Hospitalisation Questionnaire by Carskey et al. (1992). MINI was used for diagnosing and SCL-90-R by Derogatis (1997) for subjective symptoms. Standard multiple regressions were performed with the PEH subscales (Denial, Worry, Need for treatment and Need for hospitalisation) as dependents and demography, diagnosis and SCL-90-R subscales as explanatory variables.
(a) Psychoticism and the diagnosis of schizophrenia were associated with little worrying, denial of illness, of treatment needs and of need for hospitalisation. (b) Anxiety and affective disorders were related to worries, acknowledgement of illness, need for treatment and for hospitalisation.
In contrast to patients with mainly anxiety and affective disorders, psychotic patient tended to deny illness-related worries, that they had an illness and that they needed treatment and hospitalisation. An affective disorder together with suicidal thoughts (not attempts) was a strong drive towards hospital admission.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present study was to compare admission rates, including admission by coercion, length of hospital stay and diagnosis among immigrants, asylum seekers and Norwegian-born patients. MATERIAL: All admissions (n=3053) to Østmarka Hospital during the period 1995-2000 were examined. A sample including all immigrants (94) and asylum seekers (39) as well as a control group of 133 Norwegians was analysed. RESULTS: Immigrants and Norwegians had the same relative risk of admission (1.07). The relative risk of admission was higher for asylum seekers compared to Norwegians (8.84). There were differences in the diagnoses given at discharge in the three groups of patients, both among men (chi2=22.33, df=6, p
To study the associations between drunkenness frequency and adaptive functioning, psychopathology and service use among 18-year-old Finnish boys in a nation-wide population-based study.
Information about drunkenness frequency within the previous six months was collected from the Finnish boys born in 1981 (n = 2306) at the boys' obligatory military call-up in 1999. Self-report questionnaires were used to study demographic factors, adaptive functioning, risk behaviour, life events, and mental health service use. Psychopathology and adaptive functioning was assessed with the Young Adult Self-Report (YASR) questionnaire.
Of the boys, 85% reported drunkenness within the previous 6 months. Most of the subjects were occasionally drunk: 39% reported drunkenness less than a month, and 35% less than once a week, while 10% reported being frequently drunk once a week or more often. Occasional drunkenness was associated with better adaptive functioning and psychosocial well-being in general. Refraining from drunkenness was associated with suicidal ideation and internalizing problems in the YASR scale. Frequent drunkenness associated with daily smoking, illicit drug use, and externalizing problems in the YASR scale, especially delinquent behaviour. In the multivariate analysis, number of friends, having a regular relationship and cigarette smoking had a linear association with frequency of drunkenness, while drunkenness-related alcohol use was less common among those with poor friendship quality. Among the participants, entering substance use treatment was rare (0.2%). Frequent drunkenness was found to be common among mental health service users.
Among late-adolescent boys, occasional drunkenness is a normative alcohol use pattern and associates with social competence and good psychosocial functioning. Late-adolescent boys refraining from drunkenness in addition to those with frequent drunkenness may be in a need of mental health assessment. As entering substance use treatment is infrequent, establishing integrated services with multi-professional co-operation for late-adolescent males with frequent drunkenness is emphasized.
This study examined whether adolescents who were at various stages of the help-seeking process differed on demographic characteristics, use of informal helpers, and markers of emotional and behavioral adjustment.
Youths (N = 644; Grades 7-12) living in three rural communities completed a survey at school. Three comparisons were made: teenagers who reported having serious problems versus few or no problems in the past year; teenagers who felt that they did or did not need professional help with these problems; and teenagers who had or had not sought professional help.
Rural youths with serious problems were more likely to be girls and to be living with someone other than a parent, were less likely to talk to family members about problems, and reported more negative emotional and behavioral adjustment. Teenagers who perceived a need for professional help also reported poorer emotional and behavioral adjustment. Adolescents who sought professional help were more likely to be in senior high, were less likely to talk to others about problems, and were lower on anxiety.
Rural adolescents' demographic characteristics, use of informal helpers, and markers of emotional and behavioral adjustment each contribute to our understanding of their help-seeking behavior. Future studies must examine how these and other variables combine to discern who reports problems, who perceives a need for help, and who sees professionals.
Help-seeking among adolescents and adults is often perceived as a process involving only the health care system and the individual suffering from psychiatric symptoms. The present study attempted to create a model of help-seeking also including members of adolescents social networks. A prospective follow-up design included a school-based survey on all ninth grade students (mean age 15.5) during the academic year 2002-2003 in two Finnish towns (N = 3,278; response rate 94%); and a follow-up conducted two years later (N = 2,080; response rate 63%). The respondents were assessed for current depression and help-seeking for depression and other mental health problems each time. In the follow-up they were asked if they felt that they need help for depression and if their mother, father, sibling, peers, boy- or girl-friend or teacher had been worried about changes in their mood or behaviour. The associations of perceived need for help, help-seeking behaviour and concerns of different people, with depression at baseline were studied. Stepwise logistic regression models were computed to find the best predictors for help-seeking for depression. One third of the adolescents meeting R-BDI-13 criteria for depression at baseline still perceived a need for help for depression two years later but only a fifth of them had sought professional help. Depression at baseline was significantly associated with concerns about changes in mental health or behaviour among parents and significant others; and the concerns of mother, peers and teacher were among the best predictors of recent help-seeking for depression. To ensure adequate intervention for depressed adolescents without a social network capable of prompting referral, routine screening for depression should be applied in primary health care services and specialized services for adolescents.
The objectives of this study were to explore age and gender differences in attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help, and to examine whether attitudes negatively influence intentions to seek help among older adults and men, whose mental health needs are underserved. To achieve these objectives 206 community-dwelling adults completed questionnaires measuring help-seeking attitudes, psychiatric symptomatology, prior help-seeking, and intentions to seek help. Older age and female gender were associated with more positive help-seeking attitudes in this sample, although age and gender interacted with marital status and education, and had varying influences on different attitude components. Age and gender also influenced intentions to seek professional psychological help. Women exhibited more favourable intentions to seek help from mental health professionals than men, likely due to their positive attitudes concerning psychological openness. Older adults exhibited more favourable intentions to seek help from primary care physicians than younger adults, a finding that was not explained by age differences in attitudes. Results from this study suggest that negative attitudes related to psychological openness might contribute to men's underutilization of mental health services. Help-seeking attitudes do not appear to be a barrier to seeking professional help among older adults, although their intentions to visit primary care physicians might be. These findings suggest the need for education to improve men's help-seeking attitudes and to enhance older adults' willingness to seek specialty mental health services.
The aim of this study was to examine whether age-related differences in rates of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) specifically for mental health problems parallel well-known age-related differences in use of conventional mental health services and medications.
A sample of middle-aged (45-64 years; n = 10,762), younger-old (65-74; n = 4,113) and older-old adults (75 years and older; n = 3,623) was drawn from the 2001-2002 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Cycle 1.2, Mental Health and Wellbeing. Age-related utilization rates of conventional and complementary mental health services and medications/products were calculated. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the strength of association between age group and utilization of services and medications or products in the context of other important sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.
When considered in the context of other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, older age was positively associated with mental health-related utilization of alternative health products. Older age was not significantly associated with mental health-related consultations with CAM providers.
Overall, age-related patterns in mental health-related use of CAM did not directly correspond to age-related patterns in conventional mental health care utilization, suggesting different sets of predictors involved in seeking each type of care.
Frequent use of health services has been associated with such concepts as alexithymia, hypochondriasis, and psychological distress. The aim of this case-control study was firstly to assess whether alexithymia, hypochondriasis, and psychological distress are associated with frequent attendance and secondly to assess the gender differences of these associations in a primary health care setting. A sample of 304 frequent attenders (eight or more visits during 1 year), including all of the frequent attenders during 1994, and 304 randomly selected age- and sex-matched controls were selected. Half of the sample (every second individual selected in date-of-birth order) was invited for an interview, 113 frequent attenders and 107 controls completed a questionnaire during the interview. Alexithymia was measured with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), hypochondriasis was screened with the Whiteley Index (WI), and Symptom Checklist-36 (SCL-36) was used to determine psychological distress. We found a distinct gender difference in the associations of these characteristics with frequent attending. Significant associations of alexithymia, hypochondriasis, and psychological distress with frequent attending were found among men, but not among women. Alexithymia, hypochondriasis, and psychological distress should be considered when treating frequent attenders, especially males.
American Indian/Alaska Natives have high rates of alcohol-related arrests and are overrepresented in justice systems. To understand the relationship between alcohol dependence, treatment, and alcohol-related incarceration, this study queried American Indian/Alaska Natives currently in remission from alcohol dependence. Participants reported receiving 0 to 43 treatment experiences. Moreover, participants had a significantly greater number of alcohol-related incarcerations than all other treatments combined. These findings underline the importance of making alcohol treatment available within criminal justice settings.