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Articles   |    
Variation in Mental Health Service Use Among U.S. Latinos by Place of Origin and Service Provider Type
Sungkyu Lee, Ph.D.; Mary L. Held, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300533
View Author and Article Information

The authors are with the College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (e-mail: slee90@utk.edu).

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Abstract

Objective  This study examined variation in mental health service use among U.S. Latinos by place of origin and service provider type.

Methods  Data were obtained from the National Latino and Asian American Study. The sample for this study consisted of 2,533 Latino adults, including Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and other Latinos. Use of services from specialty mental health providers, general medical providers, and other providers was examined. Guided by Andersen’s behavioral model of health service use, logistic regression models were conducted.

Results  Although over one-fifth of the sample (21.3%) had a psychiatric disorder, only 9.6% reported that they received any mental health services in the past 12 months. Overall, Puerto Ricans were more likely than the other Latino subgroups to use any mental health services. Respondents with a psychiatric disorder were more likely to use mental health services from all provider types, but the effect of having a psychiatric disorder on use of general medical care providers was greater among Mexicans than among Puerto Ricans.

Conclusions  Findings suggest the existence of variations among Latino subgroups in mental health service use by provider type and place of origin. Mental health professionals should provide tailored outreach and services to this vulnerable population, which underutilizes mental health services. Further research should examine variation in mental health service use by immigrant legal status.

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Table 1Characteristics of a nationally representative sample of 2,533 Latino adults, by place of origina
Table Footer Note

a All data are weighted.

Table Footer Note

*p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

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Table 2Analysis of predictors of mental health service use from any provider and from a specialty provider in a nationally representative sample of 2,533 Latino adultsa
Table Footer Note

a All data are weighted.

Table Footer Note

b Model A, ethnic dummy variables only. Any mental health service use, Wald χ2=13.89; specialty provider, Wald χ2=6.75

Table Footer Note

c Model B, without interactions. Any mental health service use, Wald χ2=1,155.26; specialty provider, Wald χ2=486.12

Table Footer Note

d Model C, with interactions. Any mental health service use, Wald χ2=1,768.47; specialty provider, Wald χ2=907.52

Table Footer Note

*p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

Anchor for Jump
Table 3Analysis of predictors of mental health service use from a general medical provider or another provider in a nationally representative sample of 2,533 Latino adultsa
Table Footer Note

a All data are weighted.

Table Footer Note

b Model A, ethnic dummy variables only. General medical provider, Wald χ2=4.85; other service provider, Wald χ2=15.57

Table Footer Note

c Model B, without interactions. General medical provider, Wald χ2=874.69; other service provider, Wald χ2=976.85

Table Footer Note

d Model C, with interactions. General medical provider, Wald χ2=1,505.84; other service provider, Wald χ2=2,565.60

Table Footer Note

*p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

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