220748 Examining Associations between Psychiatric Disability and Proximity to Neighborhood Amenities

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Stephen Metraux, MA, PhD , Department of Health Policy & Public Health, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Eugene Brusilovskiy, MS , Center for Mental Health Policy & Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Janet Prvu-Bettger, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Yin-ling Wong, PhD , School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Mark Salzer, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
A body of research in the 1970s and 80s noted how persons with psychiatric disability became concentrated in economically disadvantaged, inner city neighborhoods following deinstitutionalization. This study continues in the tradition of that “geographies of mental illness” literature. Specifically, it assesses the degree to which persons diagnosed with severe mental illness live closer to a range of amenities (parks, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) when compared to a representative sample of the overall population. Focusing on Philadelphia, the addresses of 15,246 Medicaid recipients diagnosed with serious mental illness (295.XX and 296.XX) are geocoded, and an equal number of points representative of the general population are generated using the Hawth's Tools extension to ArcGIS. Locations of community amenities are obtained from a variety of sources, including InfoUSA and a number of city agencies. This study compares the density (i.e., concentration) of and distance to these resources for individuals with psychiatric disabilities and the general population using non-parametric t-tests. Preliminary findings show that individuals with serious mental illnesses live closer to most community resources. Furthermore, areas in which they live have more public amenities (e.g., parks, playgrounds, places of worship) as well as resources pertaining to daily needs (e.g., supermarkets); however, the general population has more discretionary amenities (e.g., coffee shops, exercise facilities) in their neighborhoods. The implications of this will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Understand the nature of residential segregation found among persons with psychiatric disabilities living in the community 2) Demonstrate how to assess differences in access to neighborhood amenities based on analysis of geographic data 3) Assess relationships between differential levels of access and related implications for community integration for persons with psychiatric disability

Keywords: Mental Health, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have researched and published extensively on topics about or related to community mental health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.