BARRIERS AND FACILITATORS OF TREATMENT-SEEKING: CASE STUDIES OF FILIPINO ACTIVE DUTY SOLDIERS DIAGNOSED WITH COMBAT-RELATED PTSD

Cariñez Dela Cruz-Fajarito, RPsy, RPm | Rosalito De Guzman, Rpsy, CSCIP, PhD |

October 16, 2019
Psychology

Military personnel face mental health challenges as they are continually deployed, and oftentimes engage in actual combats. One mental health diagnosis identified from soldiers, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has escalated along with their deployment. But albeit many soldiers suffer from mental health problems, only few seek treatment. This is disturbing, because acquiring treatment is necessary for a healthy and effective workforce. To this end, studies investigated barriers and facilitators of mental health treatment- seeking, but those studies had limitations. Using a case study design, this study aims to investigate on the mental health treatment-seeking barriers and facilitators of three Filipino active duty soldiers diagnosed with combat-related PTSD. It employed data triangulation of multiple data sources from all the interviews with the participants, participants’ significant others, attending nurses, and resident psychiatrist. Findings reveal two mental health treatment-seeking barriers of the participants: (a) belief about health care personnel and (b) stigma. Meanwhile, the participants’ mental health treatment-seeking facilitators are as follows: (a) recognition of PTSD symptoms’ severity, (b) desire to regain former self, and (c) social support. Discussion on these findings and implications for practice are provided.

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