Demographic, socioeconomic, and health correlates of unmet need for mental health treatment in the United States, 2002–16: evidence from the national surveys on drug use and health
International Journal for Equity in Health
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Yang, J. C., Roman-Urrestarazu, A., McKee, M., & Brayne, C. (2019). Demographic, socioeconomic, and health correlates of unmet need for mental health treatment in the United States, 2002–16: evidence from the national surveys on drug use and health. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18 (1)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-1026-y
Abstract: Background: Unmet need for mental health services remains high in the United States and is disproportionately concentrated in some groups. The scale and nature of these disparities have not been fully elucidated and bear further scrutiny. As such, in this study, we examine the demographic, socioeconomic, and health correlates of unmet need for mental health treatment as well as the reasons for unmet need. Methods: We draw upon the National Survey for Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2002 to 16 for adults aged 18 and over in the United States (n = 579,017). Using multivariable logistic regression, we simultaneously model the demographic, socioeconomic, and health correlates of unmet need for mental health treatment from 2002 to 16. We also analyse the reasons for unmet need expressed by these populations, reasons which include cost, perceived stigma, minimisation of symptoms, low perceived effectiveness of treatment, and structural barriers. Results: Major characteristics associated with increased odds of unmet need include past year substance abuse or dependence (other than hallucinogens and sedatives), fair, poor, or very poor health, being female, and an educational attainment of college or higher. With respect to reasons for unmet need, cost was most often cited, followed by perceived stigma, structural barriers, and minimisation. Characteristics associated with increased odds of indicating cost as a reason for unmet need include: being uninsured or aged 26–35. Minimisation and low perceived effectiveness are mentioned by high-income persons as reasons for unmet need. College-educated persons and women had higher odds of citing structural barriers as a reason for unmet need. Conclusions: The correlates and causes of unmet need highlight the intersectionality of individual health needs with implications on addressing inequities in mental health policy and practice.
Research, Mental health treatment, Unmet need
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-1026-y
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/308762