Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 171–179 | Cite as

Disability and Health Service Utilization Associated With Psychological Distress: The Influence of Ethnicity

  • Soufiane BoufousEmail author
  • Derrick Silove
  • Adrian Bauman
  • Zachary Steel


This study examined levels of disability and use of health services, as a result of psychological distress, across various ethnic groups after taking into account selected sociodemographic factors such as age, gender, education, and employment. We have analyzed data from the 1997–1998 New South Wales Health Survey, Australia. A telephone interview of 35,025 adults aged 16 years and over selected from each of the 17 Health Service Areas in the state. While people from non-English speaking backgrounds were more likely to suffer high levels of disability as a result of psychological distress, they were less likely to utilize health services compared to those from English speaking backgrounds. This was particularly true for those born in Southern and South-East Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa. Further research into the reasons underlying these findings for each ethnic group is warranted.


distress anxiety depression disability ethnicity health services 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soufiane Boufous
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Derrick Silove
    • 2
  • Adrian Bauman
    • 3
  • Zachary Steel
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Population Mental Health Research, Sydney South Weste Area Health and School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesAustralia
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of SydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Applied Science Building, Level 8University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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