The Relationship between Adult Attachment and Mental Health Care Utilization: A Systematic Review.

TitleThe Relationship between Adult Attachment and Mental Health Care Utilization: A Systematic Review.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsG Adams C, Wrath AJ, Meng X
JournalCan J Psychiatry
Date Published2018 Jan 01

OBJECTIVE: Several studies have shown a relationship between individual attachment and various aspects of treatment utilization in individuals with medical problems as well as mental health disorders. This review systematically evaluates existing literature targeting the relationship between attachment and all aspects of treatment utilization, such as engagement, participation, and completion, in adults with mental health problems.METHOD: A computerized search of PsycINFO, Medline, Embase, PubMed, and Healthstar and a manual search were employed. Of 5733 titles, 105 abstracts were selected. Of these, 18 studies met full inclusion criteria. The quality of studies was evaluated and scored according to 9 characteristics.RESULTS: Most studies supported an association between attachment and treatment engagement and participation. In general, attachment anxiety was associated with higher engagement and participation in services while attachment avoidance was associated with less. Data regarding attachment dimensions and treatment completion were less conclusive.CONCLUSIONS: The review suggests a clear relationship between attachment and stages of treatment engagement and participation in a variety of psychiatric populations and treatments. The 2 attachment dimensions appear to have opposite effects, with possible risks for either treatment over- or underutilization. Clinical implications are discussed.

Alternate JournalCan J Psychiatry
PubMed ID29916269

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