• Journal Article

The use of outpatient mental health services in the United States and Ontario: the impact of mental morbidity and perceived need for care

Citation

Katz, S. J., Kessler, R. C., Frank, R. G., Leaf, P., Lin, E., & Edlund, M. (1997). The use of outpatient mental health services in the United States and Ontario: the impact of mental morbidity and perceived need for care. American Journal of Public Health, 87(7), 1136-1143.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study compared the associations of individual mental health disorders, self-rated mental health, disability, and perceived need for care with the use of outpatient mental health services in the United States and the Canadian province of Ontario. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was employed. Data came from the 1990 US National Comorbidity Survey and the 1990 Mental Health Supplement to the Ontario Health Survey. RESULTS: The odds of receiving any medical or psychiatric specialty services were as follows: for persons with any affective disorder, 3.1 in the United States vs 11.0 in Ontario; for persons with fair or poor self-rated mental health, 2.7 in the United States vs 5.0 in Ontario; for persons with mental health-related disability. 3.0 in the United States vs 1.5 in Ontario. When perceived need was controlled for, most of the between country differences in use disappeared. CONCLUSIONS: The higher use of mental health services in the United States than in Ontario is mostly explained by the combination of a higher prevalence of mental morbidity and a higher prevalence of perceived need for care among persons with low mental morbidity in the United States