Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 85–91

Commentary: Hispanic Access to Health/Mental Health Services

  • Pedro Ruiz
Commentary

Abstract

Currently, the Hispanic population of the United States is growing very rapidly. Despite the significance of this growth and the fact that it is expected that Hispanics will be soon the largest ethnic minority group in this country, the access to health/mental health care for the Hispanic population is rather limited. Many factors are currently affecting the Hispanics' access to health/mental health care services. Among them, cultural and language barriers, insufficient numbers of Hispanic manpower in the health care professions, low educational and socioeconomic levels, the high number of uninsured Hispanics, and ethnic and racial prejudices and discrimination. In this commentary, I address the factors that interfere with the Hispanics' access to health/mental health care, and advance recommendations geared to alleviate and/or resolve this critical problem.

Hispanics access to care mental health care 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. 1.
    U.S. bureau of the census, 2000.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Marcos LR, Urcuyo L, Kesselman M, et al: The language barrier in evaluating spanishamerican patients. Archives of General Psychiatry 29:655-659, 1973.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ruiz P: Cultural barriers to effective medical care among HispanicAmerican patients. Annual Review of Medicine 36:63-71, 1985.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gomez R, Ruiz P, Rumbaut RD: Hispanic patients: A linguocultural minority. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 7:177-186, 1985.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gonzalez CA, Griffith EEH, Ruiz P: Crosscultural issues in psychiatric treatment. In: Gabbard GO, ed., Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C., American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 1995.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ruiz P: Access to health care for uninsured Hispanics: Policy recommendations. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 44:958-962, 1993.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ruiz P: Pobreza y atencion medica: Problemas y perspectivas. Revista Medica Dominicana 58:36-39, 1997.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ruiz P, GarzaTrevino ES: El paciente Hispano y el sistema de salud medica y psiquiatrica: Problemas y perspectivas. Revista de Psiquiatria 2:5-6, 1995.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ruiz P, Venegas-Samuels K, Alarcon RD: The economics of pain: Mental health care costs among minorities. The Psychiatry Clinics of North America 18:659-670, 1995.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ruiz P, Alarcon RD: How culture and poverty exclude people from care. American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry 17:61-73, 1996.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Short PF, Cornelius LJ, Goldstone DE: Health insurance of minorities in the United States. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 1:9-24, 1990.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Trevino FM, Moyer E, Burciaga Valdes R, et al: Health insurance coverage and utilization of health services by Mexican Americans, mainland Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans. Journal of the American Medical Association 265:233-238, 1991.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ruiz P: Puerto Ricans: A psychopolitical point of view. The American Journal of Social Psychiatry 4:21-24, 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marcos LR, Alpert M: Strategies and risks in psychotherapy with bilingual patients: The phenomenon of language independence. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:1275-1278, 1976.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Marcos LR: Effects of interpreters on the evaluation of psychopathology in nonenglishspeaking patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 136:171-174, 1979.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gomez EG, Ruiz P, Laval R: Psychotherapy and bilingualism: Is acculturation important? Journal of Operational Psychiatry 13:13-16, 1982.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Laval RA, Gomez EA, Ruiz P: A language minority: Hispanic Americans and mental health care. The American Journal of Social Psychiatry 3:42-49, 1983.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ruiz P: Folk healers as associate therapists: In Masserman JH, ed., Current Psychiatric Therapies, Vol. 16. New York, Grune &; Stratton, Inc., 1976.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ruiz P, Langrod J: Psychiatry and folk healing: A dichotomy? American Journal of Psychiatry 133:95-97, 1976.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Koss JD: Expectations and outcomes for patients given mental health care or spiritist healing in Puerto Rico. American Journal of Psychiatry 144:56-61, 1987.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Escobar JI: Crosscultural aspects of the somatization trait. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 38:174-180, 1987.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Canino IA, Rubio-Stipec M, Canino G, et al: Functional somatic symptoms: A crossethnic comparison. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 62:605-612, 1992.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ruiz P: Spiritism, mental health, and the Puerto Ricans: An overview. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review XVI:28-43, 1979.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ruiz P: The Hispanic patient: Sociocultural perspectives. In Becerra RM, Karno M, Escobar JI, ed., Mental Health and Hispanic Americans. New York, Grune &; Stratton, Inc., 1982.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Norquist G, Wells K: Mental health needs of the uninsured. Archives of General Psychiatry 48:475-478, 1991.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Scheffler RM, Miller AB: Differences in mental health service utilization among ethnic subpopulations. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 14:363-376, 1991.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Ruiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Texas Medical School

Personalised recommendations