Anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders in United States African-American public housing residents

Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.54). 10/2011; 46(10):983-92. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-010-0267-2
Source: PubMed


African-Americans experience considerable mental healthcare disparities in the United States, but little is known about sensitive subgroups within this population. To better understand healthcare disparities within African-Americans communities, we characterized anxiety, mood, and substance use disorder prevalence and associated service utilization among public and non-public housing residents.
We used data from a nationally representative sample of African-Americans recruited as part of the National Survey of American Life.
In public housing residents, the 12-month prevalence of anxiety disorders was 1.8 times higher than in non-public housing residents (P = 0.002), mood disorders was 1.4 times higher (P = 0.189), and substance use disorders was 2.2 times higher (P = 0.031). Public housing remained associated with mental illness after controlling for sociodemographics and chronic illness. Public and non-public housing residents did not differ significantly in mental healthcare utilization, but utilization was low with 16-30% of public housing residents with a 12-month disorder receiving mental health assistance.
A relatively high proportion of African-American public housing residents suffered from psychiatric disorders, and few received mental healthcare assistance, indicating that further work is needed to enhance utilization.

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