Year: 2013 Source: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences.(2013).Online pre pub. DOI: 10.1111/scs.12056 SIEC No: 20130676

The study focuses on use of different healthcare providers in connection with elevated levels of psychological distress. The study used a prospective design based on two waves of a national health survey. Participants were Icelandic citizens, age 18Ð75, randomly drawn from the National Register (N = 1592). Distressed individuals chose a wide range of providers. The choice of provider was based in part on the type of distress experienced, although most individuals turned to the general medical sector. Psychophysiological symptoms were primarily related to visiting physicians (other than psychiatrists). Depression was related to visiting psychiatrists, and anxiety was related to visiting psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses. Anger/aggression was primarily related to visiting clergy. Between 10% and 16% of distressed individuals did not receive any help from the formal healthcare system within 1 year. Studies addressing professional help-seeking for psychological distress should closely consider the various factors facilitating and hampering use of health services for different forms of distress.