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Int J Public Health. 2009 Jun;54 Suppl 1:9-15. doi: 10.1007/s00038-009-0001-6.

State-based differences in the prevalence and characteristics of untreated persons with serious psychological distress.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway N.E., Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



To examine the state-based prevalence of serious psychological distress (SPD) and its treatment using the Kessler-6 scale.


SPD and treatment data were obtained from 202,114 respondents in the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Mental Illness and Stigma Module in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.


Approximately 4.0 % of persons in the 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had SPD. The prevalence estimates ranged from 2.3 % in Iowa to 6.6 % in Mississippi. Among persons with SPD, 53.4 % were currently untreated, ranging from 33.3 % in Alaska to 67.0 % in Hawaii.


Mental health parity and a multidimensional approach to healthcare with extensive referrals between mental and physical healthcare is warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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