Datapoints: Self-Reported Unmet Need for Mental Health Care After California's Parity Legislation

RAND, Santa Monica, CA 90407, USA.
Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) (Impact Factor: 2.41). 09/2010; 61(9):861. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Ruopeng an, Jun 04, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: As the Internet has become a ubiquitous tool for health information, the use of Internet support groups for mental health concerns has grown. Despite the widespread use of these groups, little research has examined the efficacy and effectiveness of online communities for ameliorating mental health symptoms or factors that prompt people to seek online support rather than formal treatment. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by investigating Internet support group use as an alternative to formal mental health services. Logistic regression was conducted with data from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to examine relationships among treatment beliefs, practical variables such as time and affordability, stigma, and use of Internet support groups among 2,532 survey participants who reported a need for mental health treatment but were not receiving formal services. Four significant predictors of Internet support group use emerged: fear of being hospitalized or taking medication (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=8.81, 95% confidence interval [CI]=4.25-18.27), inadequate insurance coverage (AOR=3.22, CI=1.44-7.20), age 26-34 years (AOR=.22, CI=.07-.69), and age 35 or older (AOR=.21, CI=.08-.56). Fear of coercion and the costs of traditional mental health services were important predictors of Internet support group use. The finding that inadequate insurance coverage prompted people to seek Internet support aligns with a substantial literature regarding lack of financial resources and reduced access to treatment. Individuals' fears of hospitalization and of taking medication suggested that they may view formal treatment as potentially coercive. Further work is needed to decrease public stigma regarding mental health services and the conditions under which involuntary treatment occurs.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 02/2012; 63(4):370-6. DOI:10.1176/ · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Health insurance benefits for mental health services typically have paid less than benefits for physical health services, resulting in potential underutilization or financial burden for people with mental health conditions. Mental health benefits legislation was introduced to improve financial protection (i.e., decrease financial burden) and to increase access to, and use of, mental health services. This systematic review was conducted to determine the effectiveness of mental health benefits legislation, including executive orders, in improving mental health. Methods developed for the Guide to Community Preventive Services were used to identify, evaluate, and analyze available evidence. The evidence included studies published or reported from 1965 to March 2011 with at least one of the following outcomes: access to care, financial protection, appropriate utilization, quality of care, diagnosis of mental illness, morbidity and mortality, and quality of life. Analyses were conducted in 2012. Thirty eligible studies were identified in 37 papers. Implementation of mental health benefits legislation was associated with financial protection (decreased out-of-pocket costs) and appropriate utilization of services. Among studies examining the impact of legislation strength, most found larger positive effects for comprehensive parity legislation or policies than for less-comprehensive ones. Few studies assessed other mental health outcomes. Evidence indicates that mental health benefits legislation, particularly comprehensive parity legislation, is effective in improving financial protection and increasing appropriate utilization of mental health services for people with mental health conditions. Evidence was limited for other mental health outcomes. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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