Pathways To Help-Seeking Among Black Male Trauma Survivors: A Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Abstract [from journal]

Many Black men suffer symptoms of traumatic stress in the aftermath of traumatic injury, and they also often carry social concerns, including experiences of discrimination and stigma, and a lack of financial resources. The objective of the present study was to understand how traumatic symptoms and social factors combine in complex ways toward the outcome of psychological help-seeking. We analyzed qualitative and quantitative data from 32 injured Black men admitted to a Level 1 trauma center. Qualitative interviews explored their attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. We analyzed quantitative data, collected using validated instruments, on posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms, financial worry, and discrimination/stigma. Fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) was conducted by calibrating each condition to fuzzy set membership scores based on our knowledge of the causal conditions and the cases. We then constructed truth tables for QCA analysis using fsQCA software. Three causal pathways for psychological help-seeking were identified: Two pathways showed that severe trauma symptoms in the absence of financial worry were sufficient for seeking help, whereas the third showed that financial worry and discrimination in the absence of trauma symptoms were sufficient for help-seeking. We identified two causal pathways for negated help-seeking, in which low posttraumatic symptom severity and low levels of discrimination or financial worry were sufficient for not seeking psychological help. The QCA analysis revealed multiple pathways for psychological help-seeking among Black men who suffer trauma. These findings highlight the need for further research to understand complex pathways toward psychological help-seeking in this population.