Mental health treatment fearfulness and help-seeking

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Oct;31(10):662-9. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2010.490929.


A majority of people meeting the criteria for mental disorders underutilize mental health services. Treatment fearfulness is a barrier to help-seeking. This study explores the way treatment fearfulness affects the help-seeking behaviour of individuals who sought help from the Community Mental Health Centre. A total of 290 participants completed a structured questionnaire. Information was obtained on a number of variables, including orientation toward utilization of social networks, attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help, opinions about psychiatry, and fears about therapy. Factor analysis was conducted on the scale, measuring fears about therapy. Those with fewer fears about therapy have more positive network orientation, more positive attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help, and more positive opinions about psychiatry so it is more possible for those individuals to visit a mental health service sooner than those with more fears. Reducing the delays in individuals initiating treatment requires clearer understanding of the contributing factors.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Fear / psychology*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors