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Title: The reluctance to seek treatment for neurotic disorders.
Authors: Meltzer, H
Bebbington, P
Brugha, T
Farrell, M
Jenkins, R
Lewis, G
First Published: Feb-2003
Citation: INT REV PSYCHIATRY, 2003, 15 (1-2), pp. 123-128
Abstract: In previous papers from the National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity in Great Britain, we have demonstrated that people with neurotic disorders rarely present their symptoms to primary care physicians and when they do, are quite likely not to be given treatment. In this paper, we examined survey respondents' reports of specific instances of reluctance to seek help in relation to sociodemographic, socio-economic and clinical attributes of our subjects. All people in the National Household Survey assessed as having a neurotic disorder were asked if at any time in the previous year they had avoided seeking appropriate treatment. Clinical measures included diagnosis, symptom severity, and deficits in carrying out tasks of daily living. Of nearly 1400 respondents, a quarter said they had not been to see a doctor at some time in the past year when they or their family felt they should have. The major determinant of this reluctance was symptom severity: more severe cases were more likely to report an episode of reluctance. Reasons included those related to ignorance of neurotic disorders and the effectiveness of treatment and to stigma. The attitudes detected in our subjects with neurotic disorder help to explain why people do not always seek effective help for their mental disorders, and are indicators of a worrying public education gap that will be hard to bridge.
DOI Link: 10.1080/0954026021000046038
ISSN: 0954-0261
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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