Intentions to seek (preventive) psychological help among older adults: An application of the theory of planned behaviour

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Aging and Mental Health (Impact Factor: 1.75). 06/2008; 12(3):317-22. DOI: 10.1080/13607860802120797
Source: PubMed


This article examines the intentions to seek (preventive) psychological help among older persons. The study is carried out from the theory of planned behaviour and distinguishes attitudes (psychological openness), subjective norms (indifference to stigma), and perceived behavioural control (help-seeking propensity) in explaining behavioural intentions with regard to seeking preventive and therapeutic psychological help.
167 Dutch adults between 65 and 75 years of age filled out a questionnaire measuring these concepts.
Older adults have low intentions to seek professional help for psychological problems. Their intentions to use preventive help are somewhat higher. Older adults are rather indifferent to stigma and they perceive control, but they are less open to professional help when it comes to their own person. Regression analyses revealed that psychological openness and help-seeking propensity are related to intentions to seek preventive and therapeutic help.
Older Dutch adults have stronger behavioural intentions to use preventive psychological help than to use therapeutic psychological help. Psychological openness is the main barrier for them to seek both forms of help.

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    • "Current findings, in addition to the findings of Smith et al. (2008), Skogstad et al. (2006) and others (e.g. Mo and Mak 2009; Westerhoff et al. 2008) provided substantial empirical supporting attesting to the efficacy and the utility of the TPB in the prediction of counseling seeking behavior. These findings provide initial evidence that the TPB is well suited to investigate the prediction of various other mental health related behaviors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to compare two alternative models of Ajzen’s (Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 50:179–211, 1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). The efficacy of the TPB to predict intentions to participate in counseling among a sample (N = 259) of Irish police officers was investigated using structural equation modelling and based upon responses to a fictitious scenario. The police profession is a highly stressful occupation with many officers suffering from a variety of stress related psychological maladies that could be alleviated with effective psychotherapy. Understanding police officers intentions to participate in psychological counseling is an important endeavour. Results indicated that a modified version of the TPB in which the Perceived Behavioral Control factor was represented by two distinct latent control factors demonstrated superior model fit compared to Ajzen’s original model. Structural equation modelling results indicated that this modified version of the TPB was an effective model in the prediction of counseling seeking intentions explaining 92.6 % of variance in behavioural intentions. Self-efficacy (internal control) was found to be most strongly associated with intentions. Theoretical implications and future research potentials are discussed in light of current findings.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
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    • "Both participants and members of their social networks inhibited such discussions, through avoidance, conflict or re-directing. The Theory of Planned Behavior [34,35] has been applied to depression help-seeking [36,37]. One of the theory’s most important contributions is its identification of the role of norms in motivating and shaping behavior. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Family and friends may help patients seek out and engage in depression care. However, patients’ social networks can also undermine depression treatment and recovery. In an effort to improve depression care in primary care settings, we sought to identify, categorize, and alert primary care clinicians to depression-related messages that patients hear from friends and family that patients perceive as unhelpful or detrimental. Methods We conducted 15 focus groups in 3 cities. Participants (n = 116) with a personal history or knowledge of depression responded to open-ended questions about depression, including self-perceived barriers to care-seeking. Focus group conversations were audio-recorded and analyzed using iterative qualitative analysis. Results Four themes emerged related to negatively-received depression messages delivered by family and friends. Specifically, participants perceived these messages as making them feel labeled, judged, lectured to, and rejected by family and friends when discussing depression. Some participants also expressed their interpretation of their families’ motivations for delivering the messages and described how hearing these messages affected depression care. Conclusions The richness of our results reflects the complexity of communication within depression sufferers’ social networks around this stigmatized issue. To leverage patients’ social support networks effectively in depression care, primary care clinicians should be aware of both the potentially beneficial and detrimental aspects of social support. Specifically, clinicians should consider using open-ended queries into patients’ experiences with discussing depression with family and friends as an initial step in the process. An open-ended approach may avoid future emotional trauma or stigmatization and assist patients in overcoming self-imposed barriers to depression discussion, symptom disclosure, treatment adherence and follow-up care.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · BMC Family Practice
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    • "Daarnaast hangen de interne PBC factoren: " informatie, kennis en vaardigheden " samen met het herkennen van de noodzaak van professionele hulp. Deze overeenkomstige resultaten tussen beide onderzoeken van Duzijn en Westerhof et al. (2006) zijn opvallend. Daarop aanvullend blijkt dat meerdere concepten uit Leventhal's perceptiemodel onder te brengen zijn in concepten van de TPB. "

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