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Symptom attribution and treatment seeking in Australian veterans.

Authors
  • Wright, Breanna K1
  • Kelsall, Helen L1
  • Clarke, David M1
  • McFarlane, Alexander C2
  • Sim, Malcolm R1
  • 1 Monash University, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 The University of Adelaide, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health psychology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2020
Volume
25
Issue
10-11
Pages
1498–1510
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1359105318760156
PMID: 29512405
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To understand the role of symptom attribution in treatment-seeking behaviours, survey results of 1356 veterans (age = 38-72 years) were analysed. Controlling for symptom frequency, significant relationships were found for specialist and psychological-related consultations. Those who favoured psychological explanations for symptoms were more likely to attend specialist and psychology-related consultations and filled significantly more prescriptions than people who predominantly explained symptoms by situational factors (normalisers). Veterans who favoured somatic explanations attended more general practitioner consultations than normalisers. Attributional style should be considered part of the constellation of factors influencing healthcare usage. Normalisers, the predominant group, used fewest health services and filled fewest prescriptions; this may have important implications for healthcare considering their tendency to minimise or downplay symptoms.

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