Article

New evidence regarding racial and ethnic disparities in mental health: Policy implications

Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.64). 03/2008; 27(2):393-403. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.2.393
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Minorities have, in general, equal or better mental health than white Americans, yet they suffer from disparities in mental health care. This paper reviews the evidence for mental health and mental health care disparities, comparing them to patterns in health. Strategies for addressing disparities in health care, such as improving access to and quality of care, should also work to eliminate mental health care disparities. In addition, a diverse mental health workforce, as well as provider and patient education, are important to eliminating mental health care disparities.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Jeanne Miranda, Jun 29, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
145 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined conformance to clinical practice guidelines for children and adolescents with bipolar disorders and identified patient and provider factors associated with guideline concordant care. Administrative records were examined for 4,047 Medicaid covered youth aged 5-18 years with new episodes of bipolar disorder during 2006-2010. Main outcome measures included 5 claims-based quality of care measures reflecting national treatment guidelines. Measures addressed appropriate pharmacotherapy, therapeutic drug monitoring, and psychosocial treatment. The results indicated that current treatment practices for youth diagnosed with bipolar disorder typically fall short of recommended practice guidelines. Although the majority of affected youth are treated with recommended first-line pharmacotherapy, only a minority receive therapeutic drug monitoring and/or psychotherapy of recommended duration, underscoring the need for quality improvement initiatives.
    Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 04/2014; 42(2). DOI:10.1007/s10488-014-0553-5
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Large racial disparities in the use of mental health care persist. Differences in treatment preferences could partially explain the differences in care between minority and nonminority populations. We compared beliefs about mental illness and treatment preferences between adult African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and White Americans with diagnosed anxiety disorders. Measures of beliefs about mental illness and treatment were drawn from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication and from our previous work. There were no significant differences in beliefs between the African-Americans and the White Americans. The beliefs of the Hispanics and the Native Americans were most distinctive, but the differences were small in magnitude. Across race/ethnicity, the associations between beliefs and service use were generally weak and statistically insignificant. The differences in illness beliefs and treatment preferences do not fully explain the large, persistent racial disparities in mental health care. Other crucial barriers to quality care exist in our health care system and our society as a whole.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 03/2013; 201(3):188-195. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182845ad8
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Data from the United States indicate pronounced and persistent racial/ethnic differences in the rates at which children are referred and substantiated as victims of child abuse and neglect. In this study, we examined the extent to which aggregate racial differences are attributable to variations in the distribution of individual and family-level risk factors. METHODS: This study was based on the full population of children born in California in 2002. Birth records were linked to child protective service (CPS) records to identify all children referred for maltreatment by age 5. Generalized linear models were used to compute crude and adjusted racial/ethnic differences in children's risk of referral, substantiation, and entry to foster care. RESULTS: As expected, stark differences between Black and White children emerged in the rates of contact with CPS. Black children were more than twice as likely as White children to be referred for maltreatment, substantiated as victims, and enter foster care before age 5. Yet, there were also significant differences across racial/ethnic groups in the distribution of socioeconomic and health factors strongly correlated with child maltreatment and CPS involvement. After adjusting for these differences, low socioeconomic Black children had a lower risk of referral, substantiation, and entry to foster care than their socioeconomically similar White counterparts. Among Latinos, before adjusting for other factors, children of U.S.-born mothers were significantly more likely than White children to experience system contact, while children of foreign-born mothers were less likely to be involved with CPS. After adjusting for socioeconomic and health indicators, the relative risk of referral, substantiation, and foster care entry was significantly lower for Latino children (regardless of maternal nativity) compared to White children. CONCLUSIONS: Race and ethnicity is a marker for a complex interaction of economic, social, political, and environmental factors that influence the health of individuals and communities. This analysis indicates that adjusting for child and family-level risk factors is necessary to distinguish race-specific effects (which may reflect system, worker, or resource biases) from socioeconomic and health indicators associated with maltreatment risk. Identifying the independent effects of these factors is critical to developing effective strategies for reducing racial disparities.
    Child abuse & neglect 01/2013; 37(1). DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.08.005