Exploring positive pathways to care for members of the UK Armed Forces receiving treatment for PTSD: a qualitative study

Dominic Murphy, Elizabeth Hunt, Olga Luzon, Neil Greenberg

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Objective: To examine the factors which facilitate UK military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to engage in help-seeking behaviours.

Methods: The study recruited active service personnel who were attending mental health services, employed a qualitative design, used semi-structured interview schedules to collect data, and explored these data using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).

Results: Five themes emerged about how participants were able to access help; having to reach a crisis point before accepting the need for help, overcoming feelings of shame, the importance of having an internal locus of control, finding a psychological explanation for their symptoms and having strong social support.

Conclusions: This study reported that for military personnel who accessed mental health services, there were a number of factors that supported them to do so. In particular, factors that combated internal stigma, such as being supported to develop an internal locus of control, appeared to be critical in supporting military personnel to engage in help-seeking behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2014

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