Hope thinking and past trauma mediate the relationships of body mass index with perceived mental health treatment need and mental health treatment use

A. N. Hendricks, E. J. Dhurandhar, K. R. Fontaine, P. S. Hendricks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

UNLABELLED: Greater body mass is associated with a greater risk of mental health conditions and more frequent mental health treatment use. However, factors that might influence perceived mental health treatment need and mental health treatment use among those of greater weight, including hope thinking, trauma history and perceived mental health treatment stigma, are not well understood.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine if hope thinking, trauma history and/or perceived mental health treatment stigma mediate the relationships of body mass index [BMI] with perceived mental health treatment need and mental health treatment use.

METHOD: Primary care clinic patients in the Midwest United States (N = 196; BMI range = 18.5 to 47.0, mean = 29.26 ± 6.61, median = 27.90) were recruited to complete a battery of self-report measures that assessed perceived mental health treatment need, mental health treatment use, hope thinking (Trait Hope Scale), trauma history (a single-item traumatic event history screen from the posttraumatic stress disorder module of the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), and perceived mental health treatment stigma (Stigma Scale for Receiving Psychological Help).

RESULTS: Reduced hope thinking and a greater incidence of past trauma accounted for greater perceived mental health treatment need and greater mental health treatment use among those of greater BMI. BMI was not related to perceived unmet mental health treatment need.

CONCLUSION: Increased perceived mental health treatment need and mental health treatment use among those of greater BMI may be explained by lower hope thinking and a greater incidence of trauma in this population. Heavier patients may benefit from interventions designed to augment hope and address traumatic histories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalClinical obesity
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hope
  • mental health
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • trauma
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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