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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway N.E., Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.
International Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.7). 05/2009; 54 Suppl 1(S1):9-15. DOI: 10.1007/s00038-009-0001-6
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "support is consistent with the literature showing an association between lack of social support and psychological distress (and mental health problems more generally) (Andrews et al. 1978; Cohen et al. 2000). While other results in our study (e.g., increased SPD prevalence among ages 18–64, women, those having poor health status and smokers) are consistent with previous national studies (Kessler et al. 2010; Reeves et al. 2011; Strine et al. 2009a), some of the indicators that have previously been associated with SPD were not relevant in our final model. For instance, race/ethnicity, frequently reported as important, did not seem to play a role in the prevalence of SPD, given the ethnic and racial diversity of the urban setting in our study. "
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