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Health Serv Res. 2014 Apr;49(2):683-704. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12107. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Mental health and high-cost health care utilization: new evidence from Axis II disorders.

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1
Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the associations between Axis II (A2) disorders and two measures of health care utilization with relatively high cost: emergency department (ED) episodes and hospital admissions.

DATA SOURCE/STUDY SETTING:

Wave I (2001/2002) and Wave II (2004/2005) of the National Longitudinal Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

STUDY DESIGN:

A national probability sample of adults. Gender-stratified regression analysis adjusted for a range of covariates associated with health care utilization.

DATA COLLECTION:

The target population of the NESARC is the civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 18 years and older residing in the United States. The cumulative survey response rate is 70.2 percent with a response rate of 81 percent (N=43,093) in Wave I and 86.7 percent (N=34,653) in Wave II.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Both men and women with A2 disorders are at elevated risk for ED episodes and hospital admissions. Associations are robust after adjusting for a rich set of confounding factors, including Axis I (clinical) psychiatric disorders. We find evidence of a dose-response relationship, while antisocial and borderline disorders exhibit the strongest associations with both measures of health care utilization.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides the first published estimates of the associations between A2 disorders and high-cost health care utilization in a large, nationally representative survey. The findings underscore the potential implications of these disorders on health care expenditures.

KEYWORDS:

Axis II disorders; ED episodes; health care utilization; hospital admissions; mental health

PMID:
24117342
PMCID:
PMC3976193
DOI:
10.1111/1475-6773.12107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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