Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Perceived helpfulness of treatment for specific phobia: Findings from the World Mental Health Surveys
Authors: de Vries, Ymkje Anna
Harris, Meredith G
Vigo, Daniel
Chiu, Wai Tat
Sampson, Nancy A
Al-Hamzawi, Ali
Alonso, Jordi
Andrade, Laura H
Benjet, Corina
Bruffaerts, Ronny
Bunting, Brendan
Caldas de Almeida, José Miguel
de Girolamo, Giovanni
Florescu, Silvia
Gureje, Oye
Haro, Josep Maria
Hu, Chiyi
Karam, Elie G.
Kawakami, Norito
Kovess-Masfety, Viviane
Lee, Sing
Moskalewicz, Jacek
Navarro-Mateu, Fernando
Ojagbemi, Akin
Posada-Villa, José
Scott, Kate
Torres, Yolanda
Zarkov, Zahari
Nierenberg, Andrew
Kessler, Ronald C
de Jonge, Peter
Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine 
Keywords: Helpfulness of treatment
Simple phobia
Specific phobia
World Mental Health Surveys
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Part of: Journal of Affective Disorders
Volume: 288
Start page: 199
End page: 209
Background: Although randomized trials show that specific phobia treatments can be effective, it is unclear whether patients experience treatment as helpful in clinical practice. We investigated this issue by assessing perceived treatment helpfulness for specific phobia in a cross-national epidemiological survey.

Methods: Cross-sectional population-based WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys in 24 countries (n=112,507) assessed lifetime specific phobia. Respondents who met lifetime criteria were asked whether they ever received treatment they considered helpful and the number of professionals seen up to the time of receiving helpful treatment. Discrete-event survival analysis was used to calculate conditional-cumulative probabilities of obtaining helpful treatment across number of professionals seen and of persisting in help-seeking after prior unhelpful treatment.

Results: 23.0% of respondents reported receiving helpful treatment from the first professional seen, whereas cumulative probability of receiving helpful treatment was 85.7% after seeing up to 9 professionals. However, only 14.7% of patients persisted in seeing up to 9 professionals, resulting in the proportion of patients ever receiving helpful treatment (47.5%) being much lower than it could have been with persistence in help-seeking. Few predictors were found either of perceived helpfulness or of persistence in help-seeking after earlier unhelpful treatments.

Limitations: Retrospective recall and lack of information about either types of treatments received or objective symptomatic improvements limit results.

Conclusions: Despite these limitations, results suggest that helpfulness of specific phobia treatment could be increased, perhaps substantially, by increasing patient persistence in help-seeking after earlier unhelpful treatments. Improved understanding is needed of barriers to help-seeking persistence.
ISSN: 01650327
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.04.001
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine

Show full item record


checked on Mar 25, 2023

Record view(s)

checked on Mar 28, 2023

Google ScholarTM


Dimensions Altmetric

Dimensions Altmetric

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.