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Title: Stigma as a barrier to help seeking in private security contractors deployed to conflict zones
Author: Coleman, Sarah Joy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 4638
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Background Stigma is an important and influential factor in the process of help seeking. Contrary to previous research on stigma and help seeking across populations (Clement, 2014), a recent systematic review of stigma as a barrier to help seeking within the Armed Forces (AF) (Sharp, 2015) found no association between stigma and help seeking. The contribution of qualitative literature in this area has largely been ignored, despite the value this research brings to our understanding of complex social constructs such as stigma. The aim of the current systematic review of qualitative studies was to identify appropriate literature, assess the quality and synthesis findings across studies regarding evidence of stigma related barriers and facilitators to help seeking within the AF. Method. A multi-database text word search incorporating searches of PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Social Policy and Practice, Social Work Abstracts, EMBASE, ERIC and EBM Review databases between 1980 to April 2015. In addition references of reviews and grey literature were also searched. Literature was quality assessed using the CASP tool. Thematic synthesis was conducted across the literature. Results The review identified 8 studies with 1012 participants meeting inclusion criteria. Five overarching themes were identified across the literature: 1) Non-disclosure 2) Individual beliefs about mental health, 3) Anticipated and personal experience of stigma 4) Career concerns and 5) Influencing stigma. Conclusions The findings from the current systematic review found that unlike inconsistent findings in quantitative literature, there was significant evidence regarding the relationship between stigma and help seeking for mental health difficulties within the AF. The study advocates for future refinement of measures to accurately capture the complexity of stigma and help seeking.
Supervisor: Greenberg, Neil ; Charman, Tony ; Tranah, Troy Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available