Author(s): Pepin R, Segal DL, Coolidge FL
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Abstract This study examined intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to mental health care among younger (n = 76; M age = 23 years) and older adults (n = 88; M age = 71 years) using a new 56 item self-report measure, Barriers to Mental Health Services Scale (BMHSS). The BMHSS was developed to examine 10 barriers to the utilization of mental health services: help-seeking attitudes, stigma, knowledge and fear of psychotherapy, belief about inability to find a psychotherapist, belief that depressive symptoms are normal, insurance and payment concerns, ageism, concerns about psychotherapist's qualifications, physician referral, and transportation concerns. Results indicated that younger adults perceived fear of psychotherapy, belief about inability to find a psychotherapist, and insurance concerns to be greater barriers than older adults. Men perceived stigma to be a greater barrier than women whereas women perceived finding a psychotherapist to be a greater barrier than men. The rank order of the BMHSS subscales was strongly similar for younger and older adults (r = 0.90, p = 0.000). These results also provide further evidence that stigma about receiving mental health services is not a primary barrier among younger or older adults.
This article was published in Aging Ment Health
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education