Faculty Publications

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Publication Date

January 2010

Publication Title

Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association



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racial disparity, mental health service utilization, African Americans, severe mental illness


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology


BACKGROUND: Disparities among African Americans and Whites with severe mental illness have been identified in numerous studies. Yet it remains unknown if disparities are associated with race or other vulnerabilities common to this population. OBJECTIVES: This study used the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations to examine mental health service utilization among 155 African Americans and Whites with severe mental illness for 12 months after discharge from a residential crisis program. DESIGN: This cross-sectional study was a secondary analysis of data from a randomized trial. RESULTS: Race did not emerge as a significant predictor of mental health service utilization. Factors associated with frequency of service use were diagnosis, age, drug use, gender, health benefit status, and enrollment in an outpatient mental health program. CONCLUSION: It is possible that the geographic location of the study, equal access to services, and equal rates of substance use between racial groups explain the lack of racial differences found in this sample.


Michelle DeCoux Hampton, Linda Chafetz, and Mary C. White, Exploring the Impact of Race on Mental Health Service Utilization Among African Americans and Whites With Severe Mental Illness, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (Volume 16 and Issue 2) pp. 78-88. Copyright © 2010 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. The final publisher version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078390310362264

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