• EAP Treatment Stigma as a Barrier to Employee Help-Seeking: Predictors and Validation of a Brief Scale for its Measurement.

      Milot, Marc (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2019-11)
      Research has consistently shown that perceptions of stigma in relation to receiving professional psychological help can be a barrier to the seeking of mental health services. Very few systematic investigations on stigma in relation to receiving help from EAP counseling services have however been conducted. This article reports on validation analyses conducted for the Brief EAP Treatment Stigma Scale (BETSS-4), an instrument designed to measure an individual’s perception of stigma in relation to receiving help from EAP counseling services. The study also investigated predictors of EAP treatment stigma as assessed by the scale in a large sample of Canadian workers (N=1001). The validation analyses indicated that the BETSS-4 has high reliability and validity and is suitable for the assessment of perceptions of EAP treatment stigma in working populations. A notable proportion of the Canadian workers reported perceptions of EAP treatment stigma and higher scores on the BETSS-4 predicted a lower self-reported likelihood of accessing EAP counseling services in the event of personal problems. A number of independent demographic, occupational and psychological predictors of the degree of EAP treatment stigma were identified by multiple regression analyses. The BETSS-4 may be used by EAP practitioners, researchers, and evaluators interested in EAP treatment stigma, its determinants, as well as its association with EAP utilization rates. Greater understanding of EAP-related stigma may help employers and EAP providers develop strategies and interventions aimed at breaking down this barrier and attaining utilization rates unhindered by worker perceptions about help-seeking.