Date: 05 Apr 2014

Gender and Race/Ethnicity Differences in Mental Health Care Use before and during the Great Recession

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This study examines the changes in health care utilization for mental health disorders among patients who were diagnosed with depressive and/or anxiety disorders during the Great Recession 2007–2009 in the USA. Negative binomial regressions are used to estimate the association of the economic recession and mental health care use for females and males separately. Results show that prescription drug utilization (e.g., antidepressants, psychotropic medications) increased significantly during the economic recession 2007–2009 for both females and males. Physician visits for mental health disorders decreased during the same period. Results show that racial disparities in mental health care might have increased, while ethnic disparities persisted during the Great Recession. Future research should separately examine mental health care utilization by gender and race/ethnicity.

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