Racial variation in wanting and obtaining mental health services among women veterans in a primary care clinic.
Epidemiologic studies suggest that African-American women may be less likely to obtain mental health services. Racial differences were explored in wanting and obtaining mental health services among women in an equal access primary care clinic setting after adjusting for demographics, mental disorder symptoms, and a history of sexual trauma. Participating in the study were women veterans at a primary care clinic at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Consecutive women patients (n = 526) between the ages of 20 and 49 years were screened for a desire to obtain mental health services. Patients were given the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders questionnaire (PRIME-MD) and a sexual trauma questionnaire. Mental health service utilization was monitored for 12 months. The median age of the women was 35.8 years; 54.4% of them were African-American. African-American women expressed a greater desire for mental health services than whites, yet mental health resources at the clinic were similarly used by both racial groups. African-American women may want more mental health services; however, given an equal access system, there were no racial differences in mental health use.
Bosworth, HB; Parsey, KS; Butterfield, MI; McIntyre, LM; Oddone, EZ; Stechuchak, KM; Bastian, LA
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