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Factors influencing utilization of mental health and substance abuse services by American Indian men and women
Psychiatric Services 1997; doi:
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the effects of gender, number of lifetime psychiatric diagnoses, and childhood victimization on utilization of mental health and substance abuse treatment services in a Southwestern American Indian tribe. METHODS: A total of 582 individuals were recruited based on tribal enrollment and membership in large multigenerational pedigrees. Subjects were interviewed using a modified version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime Version, a semistructured psychiatric interview. For this study the definition of childhood victimization was limited to childhood sexual abuse. RESULTS: Fifty-six percent of the subjects had received mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, or both. Patterns of service utilization differed by gender with the odds of inpatient and substance abuse treatment higher for men than for women. Women were more likely than men to receive mental health treatment. Subjects who had been sexually abused as children were more likely to have three or more psychiatric diagnoses and to have received extensive treatment, compared with subjects who reported no childhood sexual abuse history. Logistic regression demonstrated strong relationships between number of psychiatric diagnoses and the likelihood of treatment among both men and women. CONCLUSIONS: Gender, number of psychiatric diagnoses, and childhood sexual abuse are strong predictors of utilization of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. These factors should be considered in designing treatment interventions.

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