226031 Mental health services use among Asian American older adults: Findings from NLAAS

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:30 PM - 5:45 PM

Domin Chan, PhD, MHS , School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Dolly A. John, MPH , Dept. of Health Services, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA
David T. Takeuchi, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Few studies have examined services use and correlates of use for mental health problems among older Asian Americans. Objective: To assess mental health services use and demographic factors associated with use among older Asian Americans. Setting: Methods: Nationally representative household sample of Asian Americans aged 55+ (n=376) using data from the National Latino and Asian American Survey. Mental disorders were assessed using the DSM-IV World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) in the prior 12 months. Service use for problems with emotions, mental health or alcohol/drug use was self-reported for the past 12 months. Service use included general medical care, mental health care, and other types of care, such as traditional medicine. Results: Seven percent of older Asian Americans (n =37) met CIDI criteria for a mental disorder in the past year. Only 13% (n=10) of older Asian Americans with any current mental disorder used some form of services in the past year. Vietnamese older adults were more likely to use services than Chinese older adults after controlling for covariates including mental disorder and health insurance. We found a strong income gradient in relation to services use. The lowest income group had higher odds of any recent service use compared to the highest income group after controlling for covariates. Conclusions: Over 85% of Asian American older adults with mental disorders are not receiving treatment. Practitioners and policy-makers should aim to reduce financial and other barriers to health services for low-income Asian Americans.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the need and health services use for emotional problems among older Asian Americans. 2. To describe the demographic correlates of health services use for emotional problems among older Asian Americans.

Keywords: Asian Americans, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a mental health services researcher and conduct research and evaluation on use, costs, outcomes and sociocultural factors of health services and systems.
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.