Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Public Health. 2002 Jan;92(1):92-8.

Adequacy of treatment for serious mental illness in the United States.

Author information

  • 1Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.



The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and correlates of treatment for serious mental illness.


Data were derived from the National Comorbidity Survey, a cross-sectional, nationally representative household survey assessing the presence and correlates of mental disorders and treatments. Crude and adjusted likelihoods of receiving treatment for serious mental illness in the previous 12 months were calculated.


Forty percent of respondents with serious mental illness had received treatment in the previous year. Of those receiving treatment, 38.9% received care that could be considered at least minimally adequate, resulting in 15.3% of all respondents with serious mental illness receiving minimally adequate treatment. Predictors of not receiving minimally adequate treatment included being a young adult or an African American, residing in the South, being diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder, and being treated in the general medical sector.


Inadequate treatment of serious mental illness is an enormous public health problem. Public policies and cost-effective interventions are needed to improve both access to treatment and quality of treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk