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Turchik JA, McLean C, Rafie S, Hoyt T, Rosen CS, Kimerling R. Perceived barriers to care and provider gender preferences among veteran men who have experienced military sexual trauma: a qualitative analysis. Psychological Services. 2013 May 1; 10(2):213-22.
Research suggests that there may be unique barriers to accessing care among men who have experienced sexual trauma. The primary goal of the current research was to elucidate potential barriers to accessing military sexual trauma (MST)-related care for male veterans. A secondary goal was to explore whether veterans have preferences regarding the gender of clinicians providing MST-related care. Qualitative analyses were used to examine data collected from semistructured interviews conducted with 20 male veterans enrolled in Veterans Health Administration care who reported MST but who had not received any MST-related mental health care. Veterans identified a number of potential barriers, with the majority of reported barriers relating to issues of stigma and gender. Regarding provider gender preferences, veterans were mixed, with 50% preferring a female provider, 25% a male provider, and 25% reporting no gender preference. These preliminary data suggest that stigma, gender, and knowledge-related barriers may exist for men regarding seeking MST-related care. Interventions to address potential barriers, such as outreach interventions and providing gender-specific psychoeducation, may increase access to care for male veterans who report MST.