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Individuals often avoid or delay seeking professional help for mental health problems. Stigma may be a key deterrent to help-seeking but this has not been reviewed systematically. Our systematic review addressed the overarching question: What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking for mental health problems? Subquestions were: (a) What is the size and direction of any association between stigma and help-seeking? (b) To what extent is stigma identified as a barrier to help-seeking? (c) What processes underlie the relationship between stigma and help-seeking? (d) Are there population groups for which stigma disproportionately deters help-seeking?
Five electronic databases were searched from 1980 to 2011 and references of reviews checked. A meta-synthesis of quantitative and qualitative studies, comprising three parallel narrative syntheses and subgroup analyses, was conducted.
The review identified 144 studies with 90 189 participants meeting inclusion criteria. The median association between stigma and help-seeking was d = − 0.27, with internalized and treatment stigma being most often associated with reduced help-seeking. Stigma was the fourth highest ranked barrier to help-seeking, with disclosure concerns the most commonly reported stigma barrier. A detailed conceptual model was derived that describes the processes contributing to, and counteracting, the deterrent effect of stigma on help-seeking. Ethnic minorities, youth, men and those in military and health professions were disproportionately deterred by stigma.
Stigma has a small- to moderate-sized negative effect on help-seeking. Review findings can be used to help inform the design of interventions to increase help-seeking.
In cancer care, the burden of psycho-emotional elements involved on the patient–healthcare provider relationship cannot be ignored. The aim of this work is to have an impact on the level of burnout experienced by European Institute of Oncology (IEO) gynecologic oncology nurses (N = 14) and on quality of multidisciplinary team work.
We designed a 12 session multimodal training program consisting of a 1.5 hour theoretical lesson on a specific issue related to gynecologic cancer patient care, 20 minute projection of a short film, and 1.75 hours of role-playing exercises and experiential exchanges. The Link Burnout Questionnaire (Santinello, 2007) was administered before and after the completion of the intervention. We also monitored the number of patients referred to the Psycho-oncology Service as an indicator of the efficacy of the multidisciplinary approach.
After the completion of the program, the general level of burnout significantly diminished (p = 0.02); in particular, a significant decrease was observed in the “personal inefficacy” subscale (p = 0.01). The number of patients referred to the Psycho-oncology Service increased by 50%.
Significance of results:
Nurses are in the first line of those seeing patients through the entire course of the disease. For this reason, they are at a particularly high risk of developing work-related distress. Structured training programs can be a valid answer to work-related distress, and feeling part of a multidisciplinary team helps in providing patients with better psychosocial care.