Nina Sayer, Greta Friedemann-Sanchez, Michele Spoont, Maureen Murdoch, Louise Parker, Christine Chiros, and Robert Rosenheck wrote the article “A Qualitative Study of Determinants of PTSD Treatment Initiation in Veterans”. This study explores the factors that affect the initiation of treatment among the military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These veterans were from Vietnam War and Iraqi/Afghanistan War. They conducted their study, since they discovered that the prevalence rate of trauma among the combat veterans was high. They explored literature and found out that less than four percent of the American population suffers from PTSD. However, the prevalence rate among the combat veterans was 15 percent. Therefore, it was critical for them to understand the reasons of PTSD treatment initiation among the veterans.
There were 220 potential participants selected for this study. However, only 54 percent of participants, 118 people, showed interest in participating in the study. The participants selected for this study were 44 war veterans from the Vietnam and Afghanistan/Iraqi wars. Some of the characteristics of the participants included easy access and clear treatment status. Moreover, their report had to show the negative symptoms of psychosis. 19 of the participants were from the Vietnam era, 22 participants were from the Afghanistan/Iraq war era, while the rest were from other eras. The female participants were 14, while the male ones were 30. 20 of the participants were married, while 24 were single. 41 participants were white, while the rest were the representatives of other races. The number of veterans, who were in treatment for PTSD was 21. The highest level of education for 22 of the participants was college. 4 participants had received vocational training, while 10 participants were high school graduates. The study participants were divided into the two groups. One group consisted of the veterans in treatment for PTSD, while another group consisted of the treatment patients. These groups were treated in a different manner, since their interview questions were different.
Influence of the Social Cultural Environment on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Several observations were made from the data collected from this study. Six out of fourteen female combat veterans had sexual trauma, while they were in the military. Sixty-six of the participants had symptoms of moderate to severe depression. 52 percent of the participants had a high risk of suffering from the hazardous drinking. About 66 to 91 percent of the sample satisfied the criteria for probable PTSD. The veterans gave seven barriers to the initiation of treatment. The barriers given include values and priorities that were in conflict with seeking treatment. Both the participants not in treatment and in treatment argued that they would rather take care of their own problems than seek professional help. The veterans also argued that they felt that job functioning was more important than the status of their mental health. Treatment discouraging beliefs were also a barrier to the initiation of treatment. Some of the veterans felt that treatment was not appropriate to them. One of the veterans stated that he was afraid of seeking treatment, since it would make him lose his control.
Some participants stated that they were scared that people in their social networks would view them as weak and incompetent if they sought treatment. Another barrier to the initiation of treatment was health care systems’ concerns. Some of the veterans stated that they strongly felt that the health care systems did not have an ability of addressing their health care needs. Some of the out of treatment participants stated that providers not in the VA system would not comprehend PTSD that was related to the military. Lack of knowledge about PTSD was also a significant barrier hindering treatment initiation. Some of the participants were ignorant concerning the types of traumas that can affect a veteran. It was also clear that some of the participants were not aware of the treatment options for PTSD. Access barriers also made it difficult for the veterans to initiate treatment. A portion of the sample stated that the process for enrolling in the VA was time consuming (Seya et al., 2009). Some also felt that this process was very complex. The facilitators for seeking treatment were recognition, acceptance, treatment encouraging beliefs, system facilitation, and social network facilitation and encouragement.
The study conducted by these authors fits survey research. Survey research studies the sampling of a particular population. The method of data collection that is used in survey research includes the use of questionnaires or structured interviews. In this study, the authors used a sample of 44 veterans to find out the barriers for the treatment initiation among veterans. Several things can be concluded from the findings of these researches. Social networks facilitate treatment initiation. This could explain why PTSD claimants are more likely to seek treatment as compared to the single claimants. The findings of this research also revealed that recognition of problems and perceived needs are important precursors to the health beliefs and the participation in mental health treatment. The social cultural environment of post trauma influences the level of seeking help among the patients suffering from psychiatric problems that are related to trauma. The resources that promote treatment among Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patients include eligibility, knowledge, income, and insurance. The social cultural environment involved in post trauma is influenced by norms, homecoming, and politics affecting the combat veterans. This study had several limitations. One key limitation of this study is that the sample used in this study was limited. The participants were only 44. It is, therefore, hard to generalize whether this sample was representative of the entire population or not. A possibility of bias in the findings of this study also exists. This is because the findings of this study reflect the personal views of the participants. There is a chance that memory and self-representation may have influenced the results of this study as well.
The topic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder falls is represented in the biopsych field. This field analyze the ways the neurotransmitters and the brain influence the behavior of people, as well as their feelings and thoughts. It is a combination of neuroscience and psychology. Researchers study the brain anatomy in order to determine the risk of PTSD development. The amygdala section of the brain is responsible for learning, memory, and emotions. It is affected, if a patient suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is involved in judgment, problem solving, and decision-making. This section is also affected, when a patient suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The study by the authors above was important due to the several reasons. One gets an opportunity to learn the issues that the combat veterans go through because of PTSD. Some veterans end up re-experiencing the traumatic event that faced them during combat. In some instances, they have upsetting memories relating to the ways the event took place. Some veterans also have nightmares of the attacks that took place, while they were in combat. Veterans with PTSD do not like to be reminded of the trauma that faced them, since it sometimes causes them to have intense feelings of distress. Military veterans should be helped to seek treatment for PTSD, since they may be affected by emotional arousal and anxiety. It is common for them to have outbursts of anger. They may also find it hard to concentrate on the tasks that they may be performing or to get enough sleep. Suicidal thoughts are also common among the military veterans. Due to this, the study by these authors made me appreciate the necessity of people formulating strategies that will encourage military combats to access treatment for PTSD.