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Articles   |    
Service Utilization for Mental Problems in a Metropolitan Migrant Population in China
Zhaoguo Wei, M.S.; Chiyi Hu, Ph.D.; Xiaolin Wei, Ph.D.; Hong Yang, M.S.; Mingyue Shu, M.S.; Tiebang Liu, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200304
View Author and Article Information

With the exception of Dr. Xiaolin Wei, the authors are affiliated with the Shenzhen Mental Health Center, No. 1080, Cuizhu Rd., Luohu District, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518020, China (e-mail: rowzag@163.com). Dr. Xiaolin Wei is with the School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

Abstract

Objective  The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and predictors of service utilization for mental health problems of the first-generation migrant population in Shenzhen, China, a city that attracts millions of unskilled rural laborers each year.

Methods  Using the structured World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview, the investigators conducted face-to-face surveys between September 1, 2005, and January 30, 2006. A total of 7,134 respondents age 18 years and above finished the surveys. The main outcomes were prevalence of mental disorders according to DSM-IV criteria, as well as prevalence of mental health services used in different sectors.

Results  Nine percent of the sample had ever used some type of service for mental health issues, and 6.3% used services outside of the health service sector, such as human services and complementary and alternative medicine. In addition, DSM criteria for a mental disorder over the lifetime were met by 18.1% of respondents; of the respondents with a mental disorder, 18.3% had used mental health services at least once. Migrants who were unmarried, had high family income, were raised in metropolitan areas, had histories of homelessness or attempted suicide, had a psychotic disorder, or had an anxiety disorder were more likely to use services for mental health care.

Conclusions  In Shenzhen, few migrants used mental health services and most used complementary and alternative medicine services. Future studies of service utilization patterns in migrant populations should give special attention to personal characteristics, such as family support.

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Table 1Lifetime service use for mental health in a Shenzhen migrant population, by service sector (in percentages)a
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a Data were weighted according to the total sample. In total, 1,275 of the 7,044 respondents met the lifetime DSM-IV mental disorder criteria, and the other 5,769 respondents had no disorder. na, data were not available (if <30 patients, no estimate was made)

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b Complementary and alternative medicine

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c Significantly different from subsamples in other service sectors

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d Significantly different from those who used health care services

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Table 2Prevalence of lifetime mental disorders and associated service use among 7,044 Shenzhen migrants, by service sector and lifetime mental disorders (in percentages)a
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a Disorders are as defined by the DSM-IV and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, version 3.0 (CIDI-3.0). na, data not available (if <30 patients, no estimate was made)

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b CIDI-3.0 part 2 respondents

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c Complementary and alternative medicine

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d Not otherwise specified

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*p<.05, significantly higher than that of health care service use

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Table 3Logistic regression analysis of predictors of lifetime service use in a Shenzhen migrant populationa
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a N=2,167, Nagelkerke R2=.13

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c Includes student, retiree, and homemaker

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*p<.05, two-sided test, **p<.01, two-sided test

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