Measuring Barriers to Mental Health Care in the Military
[Technical Report, Research Report]
Pagination or Media Count:
U.S. military service members report a variety of barriers, both logistical e.g., difficulty scheduling an appointment and attitudinal e.g., negative beliefs about treatment, to seeking mental health care. However, at the time of this report, there was no ongoing systematic assessment across the military of barriers that prevent service members from seeking care or of facilitators that encourage it. Understanding these barriers and facilitators is key to informing interventions aimed at increasing care-seeking and enhancing utilization of mental health treatment among service members in need. To address this gap, the RAND National Defense Research Institute NDRI was asked to conduct a study to develop an item bank - a repository of survey questions phrased in a nonbiased way about different aspects of mental health treatment and avoidance - to use in military surveys about barriers to seeking mental health care i.e., a way of capturing service members self-reported barriers, encompassing care avoidance before and after contact with services, establish the reliability and preliminary validity of the item bank and a short form i.e., a subset of items from the bank that can be used as a short survey, and identify options for how the U.S. Department of Defense DoD can use the item bank to assess and monitor barriers to mental health care.
- Medicine and Medical Research