Objectives: The study aims to investigate apparently contradictory evidence regarding racial/ethnic differences in perceived need for behavioral health treatment in two prominent surveys of the U.S. population, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) and the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Methods: The two surveys were compared with respect to two components of perceived need: service use and perceived need among the untreated. Logistic regression models were estimated to adjust comparisons for demographic characteristics. Comparisons were conducted in samples representing the entire population, without selection on a mental health assessment, and for samples meeting criteria for lifetime major depression. Results: The surveys are concordant with respect to racial/ethnic differences in service use and discordant with respect to perceived need among the untreated. For instance, among untreated individuals, the odds of perceiving a need for treatment are significantly higher in Blacks than Whites in the NCS-R (OR = 1.8, 95% CI [1.1, 2.9]) but do not differ between these groups in the NSDUH (OR = 0.9, 95% CI [0.7, 1.2]). Temporal trends do not appear to explain this discordance. Conclusion: Assessments of racial/ethnic differences in perceived need among untreated individuals are affected by methodological differences across surveys. Resolving contradictory evidence is critical to efforts to reduce racial/ethnic disparities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research|
|State||Accepted/In press - Jan 1 2018|
- perceived need
- survey methods
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health