Mental health service use by persons of asian ancestry with DSM-IV mental disorders in the United States

Su Yeon Lee, Silvia S. Martins, Katherine M. Keyes, Hochang B. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study compared the prevalence and odds of mental health service utilization among people of Asian ancestry with lifetime DSM-IV mood, anxiety, alcohol, and drug use disorders with utilization by members of other racial and ethnic groups with similar disorders. Methods: Between 2001 and 2002, a total of 43,093 noninstitutionalized individuals were assessed by the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) study of lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders and mental health service utilization among various ethnic and racial groups. Results: Among individuals with lifetime mood disorders, Asians had significantly lower mental health service utilization compared with whites (odds ratio [OR]=.31, 95% confidence interval [CI]=.21-.46), Hispanics (OR=.49, CI=.33-71), and Native Americans (OR=.27, CI=.15-.48) but similar utilization compared with blacks. There were no statistically significant differences in lifetime mental health service utilization for alcohol and drug use disorders among racial and ethnic groups. Conclusions: Asians with lifetime mood disorders underutilized mental health services even after adjustment was made for socioeconomic variables and years of residency in the United States. Future studies of culture-specific attitudes, correlates, and barriers to mental health service utilization are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1186
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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