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Wide range of differences in health service use for mental health.

Wide differences, up to a twofold difference, in the type of health service used for mental health reasons are found among the provinces, according to a report in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (Oct. 2005), "Service Use for Mental Health Reasons: Cross-Provincial Differences in Rates, Determinants, and Equity of Access."

Based on Canada's first national survey on mental health and well-being in 2002, the report shows that:

* The primary care general medical system is the most widely used service for mental health.

* Need is the strongest predictor of use, when a mental disorder is present.

* Different sociodemographic variables played a role in service seeking within each province, suggesting different attitudes toward common mental disorders and toward care seeking among the provinces.

* The general medical system was the most used for mental health reasons and the voluntary network sector was the least used.

* No difference was observed in the rate of service use between specialist mental health and other professional providers.

* The general medical system was the most used for MH reasons. Barriers to access, such as income, were not identified in all provinces.

Health service use for mental reasons in Canada was 9.5%. The highest rates, on average, were found in Nova Scotia 11.3% and British Columbia 11.3%. The lowest rates were observed in Newfoundland and Labrador 6.7% and Prince Edward Island (7.5%; 95%CI, 5.8% to 9.3%).

The report was prepared by Helen-Maria Vasiliadis, Alain Lesage, Carol Adair, Richard Boyer of Laval University.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH
Publication:Community Action
Date:Oct 24, 2005
Previous Article:Many varieties of coverage in health care programs.
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