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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Aug;106(2):143-9.

Helpseeking and access to mental health treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Department of Epidemiology, Maliman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.



To identify predictors of helpseeking and use of mental health treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) using the behavioral model of health service use.


Data were drawn from the 1996 National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day. Participants (n=14 860) completed screening measures providing information about demographics, mental disorders, helpseeking, and treatment experiences for OCD.


Previous use of mental health treatment was associated with comorbid panic disorder [odds ratio (OR)=1.6 (1.3-1.98)], while minority racial status [OR=0.7 (0.5-0.9)] emerged as a barrier to receiving care among individuals with OCD. Among those who had never received mental health care, comorbid panic disorder [OR=2.0 (1.5-2.8)], post-traumatic stress disorder [OR=1.7 (1.3-2.4)], and suicidal ideation [OR=1.7 (1.2-2.3)] increased readiness to seek treatment while being employed [OR=0.7 (0.5-0.9)], and feeling one could handle the problem on his/her own [OR=0.5 (0.3-0.7)] decreased readiness to seek help for the first time.


These data suggest that access to treatment for OCD may not be equally accessible to all in need by revealing non-disease related factors (e.g. race, health beliefs) that have a significant impact on decisions to seek and use mental health treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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