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Estimating a Model for Mental Healthcare Utilization Using Subjective Unmet Need and Psychological Distress Measures (The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research)

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Summary: The objective of this study is to assess the predictive value of self-reported need and psychological distress in mental healthcare service use across racial and ethnic groups in California. Using 2014–2018 data for adults aged 18–64 in the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), both logistic and Poisson regression models are used to estimate mental healthcare utilization. Patient-reported outcome measures, such as psychological distress, are commonly used to evaluate healthcare utilization patterns. The Kessler-6 screener for psychological distress is frequently used as a tool for determining whether someone’s level of distress necessitates evaluation by a mental healthcare professional. Serious psychological distress has been widely studied as a predictor of higher healthcare expenditures and use; however, moderate distress and self-reported need has been less examined in the literature. 

Findings: Seventy-two percent of individuals with moderate psychological distress felt like they needed to see a professional for their mental or emotional needs compared to 4% of individuals with serious psychological distress. Individuals with moderate psychological distress had 34% of all healthcare visits for mental or emotional needs during the study period, compared to 17% for those with serious psychological distress. Subjective unmet need for mental healthcare was reported by 77% of those who utilized mental healthcare during the study period. Studying subjective unmet need, in addition to moderate and serious distress, provides additional understanding of the need for mental healthcare and mental healthcare utilization.​


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Journal Article: Estimating a Model for Mental Healthcare Utilization Using Subjective Unmet Need and Psychological Distress Measures

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Last modified at 5/16/2022 5:28 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|venetia