Race, psychiatric diagnosis, and mental health care utilization in older patients

TitleRace, psychiatric diagnosis, and mental health care utilization in older patients
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKales, H. C., Blow, F. C., Bingham, C. R., Roberts, J. S., Copeland, L. A., & Mellow, A. M.
JournalThe American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
Date Published2000 Fall
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Comorbidity, Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry), European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Hispanic Americans, Hospitals, Veterans, Humans, Inpatients, Male, Mental Disorders, Mental Health Services, Middle Aged, Patient Discharge, Retrospective Studies, United States

To evaluate the impact of race on mental health care utilization among older patients within given clinical psychiatric diagnoses, the authors examined a retrospective sample of 23,718 elderly veterans treated in Department of Veterans Affairs inpatient facilities in 1994. Significant racial differences in mental health care utilization found over a subsequent 2-year period were related to outpatient (but not inpatient) care; for instance: 1) African American patients with psychotic disorders had significantly fewer outpatient psychiatric visits; and 2) African American patients with substance abuse disorders had significantly more psychiatric visits than Caucasian patients in their respective groups. Although inpatient utilization appeared to be similar among races, findings related to outpatient utilization may be associated with such factors as compliance, treatment efficacy, access to health care, or possible clinician bias.

Alternate JournalAm J Geriatr Psychiatry