In a collaborative new study between the School of Nursing and Drexel University, researchers have peeled back the layers of what causes and prevents many trauma-surviving Black men from seeking needed professional behavioral health care.
The study, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, examines facilitators and barriers to what prompted 32 men to seek care from a Level 1 trauma center—people who experienced traumatic stress following a traumatic injury. In determining case patterns, researchers discovered three causal pathways to help-seeking. For example, some, when faced with low post-traumatic stress combined with the obstacle of low levels of discrimination and financial concern, decided the stress was not enough to cause them to seek help. Black men are often underserved with limited access to behavioral health care and carry with them social concerns like discrimination and stigma.
At large, these findings confirm what researchers previously suspected: that facilitators and barriers to help-seeking among Black men are intersectional and complex.
“Our study has implications for future research,” says Penn Nursing’s Therese S. Richmond, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation. “Understanding different pathways to help-seeking behavior may identify new approaches to aiding Black men who are victims of trauma. Somewhat akin to a precision medicine approach, future examination of these pathways may help to develop theories about the utilization of behavioral health services for Black men that are based on their experiences rather than the assumption that all Black men who are trauma survivors have a single perspective on seeking help.”
Read more at Penn Nursing News.