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Int J Health Serv. 2002;32(3):567-78.

Do minorities in the United States receive fewer mental health services than whites?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Cambridge Hospital, MA 02139, USA. klasser@challiance.org

Abstract

Older studies have found that minorities in the United States receive fewer mental health services than whites. This analysis compares rates of outpatient mental health treatment according to race and ethnicity using more recent, population-based data, from the 1997 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. The authors calculated visit rates per 1,000 population to either primary care or psychiatric providers for mental health counseling, psychotherapy, and psychiatric drug therapy. In the primary care setting, Hispanics and blacks had lower visit rates (per 1,000 population) for drug therapy than whites (48.3 and 73.7 vs. 109.0; P <.0001 and P < .01, respectively). Blacks also had a lower visit rate for talk therapy (mental health counseling or psychotherapy) than whites (23.6 vs. 42.5; P < .01). In the psychiatric setting, Hispanics and blacks had lower visit rates than whites for talk therapy (38.4 and 33.6 vs. 85.1; P < .0001 for both comparisons) and drug therapy (38.3 and 29.1 vs. 71.8; P < .0001 for both comparisons). These results indicate that minorities receive about half as much outpatient mental health care as whites.

PMID:
12211293
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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