What are the enablers and barriers to help-seeking for military veterans with mental health and alcohol difficulties? A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Research remains unclear regarding veteran help-seeking (HS); some veterans do HS whilst others do not. A possible cause of ambiguity relates to research methods, particularly the tendency to mix veterans with other populations within studies. This is problematic because diverse populations experience different difficulties and face distinctive HS barriers (Bs) and enablers (Es). Therefore, there is a need to systematically review the HS literature relating to veterans only.

Methods: Searches were conducted across 15 databases. Search terms related to enablers, barriers, veterans, alcohol, mental health and help-seeking. A narrative synthesis approach was adopted for data analysis.

Results: From 1,658 studies screened, ten met the inclusion criteria. The total number of individual HS Bs and Es identified was 39, 29 of which were statistically significant. There were more Es than Bs. PTSD was the E/B with the highest number of HS E endorsements, followed by depression, income and socially related Es/Bs. Findings relating to alcohol were unclear. Attitudes, as a category of Es/Bs, had the most individual Es/Bs. Most studies were of fair methodological quality, although none were without limitation. The variety of scales used (30) contributed to the large number of individual Es and Bs identified. Differences in study design made comparison difficult. Participants were mainly Caucasian Army veterans, therefore, findings had limited generalisability.

Conclusions: Overall findings align with existing research. Further research regarding attitude formation and alcohol is needed. Close attention is also required to improve research designs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 01 Oct 2020
EventSociety for the Study of Addiction : Annual Event - Virtual
Duration: 05 Nov 202006 Nov 2020
https://www.addiction-ssa.org/annual-conference/annual-conference-2020/

Conference

ConferenceSociety for the Study of Addiction
Period05/11/202006/11/2020
Internet address

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