Race-ethnicity as a predictor of attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA.
Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) (Impact Factor: 2.81). 10/2009; 60(10):1336-41. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous research on mental health disparities shows that persons from racial-ethnic minority groups have less access to mental health care, engage in less treatment, and receive poorer-quality treatment than non-Hispanic whites. Attitudes and beliefs about mental health treatment were examined to determine whether they contribute to these disparities.
Data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) were analyzed to determine attitudes toward treatment-seeking behavior among people of non-Hispanic white, African-American, and Hispanic or Latino race-ethnicity. Additional sociodemographic variables were examined in relation to attitudes and beliefs toward treatment.
African-American race-ethnicity was a significant independent predictor of greater reported willingness to seek treatment and lesser reported embarrassment if others found out about being in treatment. These findings persisted when analyses adjusted for socioeconomic variables. Hispanic or Latino race-ethnicity also was associated with an increased likelihood of willingness to seek professional help and lesser embarrassment if others found out, but these differences did not persist after adjustment for the effects of socioeconomic variables.
Contrary to the initial hypothesis, African Americans and Hispanics or Latinos may have more positive attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking than non-Hispanic whites. To improve access to mental health services among racial-ethnic minority groups, it is crucial to better understand a broader array of individual-, provider-, and system-level factors that may create barriers to care.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective Individuals with both physical and mental health problems may have elevated levels of emergency department (ED) service utilization either for index conditions or for associated comorbidities. This study examines the use of ED services by Medicaid beneficiaries with comorbid diabetes and schizophrenia, a dyad with particularly high levels of clinical complexity. Methods Retrospective cohort analysis of claims data for Medicaid beneficiaries with both schizophrenia and diabetes from fourteen Southern states was compared with patients with diabetes only, schizophrenia only, and patients with any diagnosis other than schizophrenia and diabetes. Key outcome variables for individuals with comorbid schizophrenia and diabetes were ED visits for diabetes, mental health-related conditions, and other causes. Results Medicaid patients with comorbid diabetes and schizophrenia had an average number of 7.5 ED visits per year, compared to the sample Medicaid population with neither diabetes nor schizophrenia (1.9 ED visits per year), diabetes only (4.7 ED visits per year), and schizophrenia only (5.3 ED visits per year). Greater numbers of comorbidities (over and above diabetes and schizophrenia) were associated with substantial increases in diabetes-related, mental health-related and all-cause ED visits. Most ED visits in all patients, but especially in patients with more comorbidities, were for causes other than diabetes or mental health-related conditions. Conclusion Most ED utilization by individuals with diabetes and schizophrenia is for increasing numbers of comorbidities rather than the index conditions. Improving care in this population will require management of both index conditions as well as comorbid ones.
    Schizophrenia Research 01/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The goal of this systematic literature review was to enhance understanding of substance use, service use, and treatment among Latino subgroups to improve access to care and treatment outcomes in an era of health care reform. The authors used 13 electronic databases and manually searched the literature from January 1, 1978, to May 30, 2013. One hundred (69%) of 145 primary research articles met the inclusion criteria. Two blinded, independent reviewers scored each article. Consensus discussions and a content expert reconciled discrepancies. Current rates of alcohol and substance abuse among Latinos are comparable to or surpass other U.S. ethnic groups. Disparities in access and quality of care are evident between Latinos and other ethnic groups. As a heterogeneous group, Latinos vary by geographic region in terms of substance of choice and their cultural identity takes precedence over general ethnic identity as a likely determinant of substance abuse behaviors. There is growing research interest in systems influencing treatment access and adherence among racial/ethnic and gender minority groups. However, studies on Latinos' service use and immediate treatment outcomes have been both limited in number and inconsistent in findings. This review identified human capital, quality of care, and access to culturally responsive care as key strategies to eliminate disparities in health and treatment quality. Implications are discussed, including the need for effectiveness studies on Latinos served by systems of care that, under health care reform, are seeking to maximize resources, improve outcomes, and reduce variation in quality of care.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 08/2013; · 3.60 Impact Factor
  • Source