Barriers to Mental Health Treatment for Latinos Seeking Care for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Blackburn, Allyson M.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an impairing and relatively common disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 6.8% for English-speaking American adults and between 4.4%-7.0% for Latinos (Alegria et al 2008; Roberts, Gilman, Breslau, Breslau, & Koenen, 2010). Despite effective evidence-based therapies for PTSD (Foa, Hembree, & Rothbaum, 2007; Resick & Scheinicke, 1992), not everyone with PTSD r... read moreeceives treatment due to several types of barriers. The present study aimed to identify the barriers to care reported by patients seeking treatment for PTSD at a community health clinic, stratified between Latino and non-Latino participants. Relationships between endorsed barriers to treatment and PTSD symptom severity were explored. Participants (N=60) were administered the Barriers to Treatment Questionnaire (BTQ) and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist – Specific (PCL-S). The BTQ assesses three barrier dimensions: logistical, stigma, and treatment perception barriers. The PCL-S assesses total PTSD symptom severity in addition to the symptom clusters: avoidance/numbing, hyper-arousal, and re-experiencing (American Psychological Association, 2000). Bivariate correlations were run to detect relationships between PTSD symptom severity and perceived barriers to treatment, stratified by ethnicity. Latinos reported significantly more stigma barriers than non-Latinos (t(58)= -4.13, p=.033). There were no significant differences between non-Latino and Latino participants in logistical barriers or treatment perception barriers. PTSD symptom severity correlated significantly with perceived stigma barriers for Latinos (r=.33, p<.05) but did not with non-Latinos. PCL-S total scores for Latino patients also significantly correlated with treatment perception barriers (r=.42, p=.005). These results demonstrate a need for providers to address stigma and shame with their patients. Implications about cultural adaptation, treatment modification, and access to care are addressed.read less