Background: Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are among the most highly stigmatized medical conditions. Only a minority of individuals with AUD seek treatment, and stigma is one of the most prominent barriers to treatment-seeking. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the associations between stigma and preferences for help-seeking, and the associations between stigma and preferences for treatment seeking. Aim: to investigate the associations between stigma and preferences for where to seek help and treatment for AUD. As sub-analyses, associations between stigma, level of alcohol use and preferences for help-seeking and treatment preferences will be analyzed. Method: Cross-sectional design, including n = 3037 participants aged 30 – 65 years, living in Denmark. Data: In 2020, an online questionnaire was administered by a market research company. The questionnaire covered demographics, preferences for help-seeking and treatment for AUD, stigma measured with the Difference, Disdain & Blame Scales for Public Stigma, and alcohol use measured with the Alcohol Use Disorder Test (AUDIT). Analyses: restricted cubic spline models were applied to model outcomes. Odds ratios were calculated. Results: A lower level of stigma was associated with a higher probability of preferring formal and informal help-seeking for AUD. Both high and low levels of stigma were associated with a higher probability of preferring to consult general practitioners. Stigma was not associated with other preferences for treatment-seeking, nor trying to change oneself or a passive strategy. The sub-analyses, grouped by level of alcohol use, showed similar results. Conclusion: Stigma is associated with lower preferences for formal and informal help-seeking, however not type of treatment preferred. Future studies should address stigma in relation to other factors of the treatment-seeking process.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
Open access funding provided by Karolinska Institute. TrygFonden, grant number 129450.