The Role of Social Structural Factors in Treatment of Mental Health Disorder

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Background Mental disorder implies a biopsychosocial condition, so adequate mental health treatment involves not just medical and pharmacological care but also psychotherapy or counseling.Aims The present study determined how social structural factors might explain accessing of primary care providers and specialty care providers in response to mental disorder, hypothesizing that the two broad types of care differ as to the likelihood of offering minimally adequate treatment.Method We analyzed data from the cross-sectional study called "20002001 Healthcare for Communities", employing five imputed data sets to handle missing data and defining minimally adequate treatment of mental disorder as "at least four counseling sessions at any provider and prescribed medication".Results While mental disorder can be treated in primary care or specialty facilities, our results show that minimally adequate treatment (as defined) is most likely to be obtained via specialty care.Conclusion For individuals with mental disorder, accessing only primary care creates social inequity, because care from specialty facilities is comparatively more adequate.



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