Disability and Health Service Utilization Associated With Psychological Distress: The Influence of Ethnicity
- Cite this article as:
- Boufous, S., Silove, D., Bauman, A. et al. Ment Health Serv Res (2005) 7: 171. doi:10.1007/s11020-005-5785-2
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.