Health Service Use Predictors Among Trauma Survivors: A Critical Review

Jon D. Elhai, Terry C. North, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


This article had 2 aims: (a) to comprehensively review and synthesize the literature on predictors of health service utilization in survivors of traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients and (b) to discuss methodological issues in examining service utilization in this population. PsycINFO was searched for relevant articles published through April 2004. Included studies had to primarily sample trauma survivors or PTSD patients and statistically explore health service use determinants. Although some findings conflicted across studies, increased mental health service use was generally related to being female, having a previous trauma history, and having a PTSD diagnosis. Increased medical service use was found among those with a PTSD diagnosis. Methodological recommendations are made for future health service use studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • emotional trauma
  • health services research
  • methodology
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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