Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Psychiatry. 1999 Jun;156(6):928-34.

Gaps in service utilization by Mexican Americans with mental health problems.

Author information

  • 1University of Texas, San Antonio 78207, USA. wvega@utsa.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the degree of underutilization of services for mental health problems among urban and rural Mexican American adults.

METHOD:

A probability sample (N = 3,012) was used to represent the Mexican American population of Fresno County, California, and face-to-face interviews were conducted with the use of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to analyze the data on diagnosis and service utilization.

RESULTS:

Among the respondents with DSM-III-R-defined disorders, only about one-fourth had used a single service or a combination of services in the past 12 months, and Mexican immigrants had a utilization rate which was only two-fifths of that of Mexican Americans born in the United States. Overall use of mental health care providers by persons with diagnosed mental disorders was 8.8%, use of providers in the general medical sector was 18.4%, use of other professionals was 12.7%, and use of informal providers was only 3.1%. According to logistic regression analyses, factors associated with utilization of mental health services included female sex, higher educational attainment, unemployment, and comorbidity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Immigrants are unlikely to use mental health services, even when they have a recent disorder, but may use general practitioners, which raises questions about the appropriateness, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of mental health care for this population. Several competing hypotheses about the reasons for low utilization of services need to be examined in future research.

PMID:
10360134
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk