Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 285-293

Explaining service use for mental health problems in the Dutch general population: the role of resources, emotional disorder and functional impairment

  • Margreet ten HaveAffiliated withNetherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction Email author 
  • , Jurjen IedemaAffiliated withSocial and Cultural Planning Office of the Netherlands
  • , Johan OrmelAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, University of Groningen
  • , Wilma VolleberghAffiliated withNetherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction

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To analyse explanations of service use in terms of resources, emotional (mood or anxiety) disorder and functional impairment.


Data was derived from a prospective cohort study in a sample representative (n = 4848) of the Dutch adult general population.


The occurrence of an emotional (mood or anxiety) disorder led to a greater use of services as a partial consequence of the functional impairments that accompanied the disorder, but this applied only to primary care services and not to specialised mental health services. After adjustment for the influence of all other determinants in the model, people with more education and those with higher neuroticism scores were more likely to use specialised services in particular.


Future research could benefit from applying the models derived here to further clarify the use of the two service modalities, as well as to assess additional psychological resources.

Key words

cohort studies mental disorders mental health services socioeconomic factors personality