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Personality correlates of outpatient mental health service utilization

Findings from the U.S. national comorbidity survey
  • Lachlan A. McWilliams
  • Brian J. Cox
  • Murray W. Enns
  • Ian P. Clara
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Objective

The present paper investigated the relationships between several personality constructs and the use of outpatient mental health services.

Methods

Respondents were from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) Part II data set and included those with a past-year mood, anxiety, alcohol/substance use disorder (n=1750). Bivariate logistic regressions were used to examine associations between participants’ self-reports of personality traits and outpatient mental health service utilization. Similar multivariate analyses were used to investigate these associations after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and the presence of psychiatric disorders and their comorbidity.

Results

The bivariate and multivariate analyses revealed significant positive associations between outpatient mental health service utilization and both Powerful Others Locus of Control and Self-criticism.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that personality traits may play a role in treatment seeking behaviors for mental health problems over and above the presence of psychiatric disorders alone. The assessment of relevant personality constructs has the potential to inform and improve treatment outreach efforts.

Key words

epidemiology outpatient psychiatry  

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag Darmstadt 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lachlan A. McWilliams
    • 1
  • Brian J. Cox
    • 1
  • Murray W. Enns
    • 1
  • Ian P. Clara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAcadia UniversityWolfvilleCanada

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