MENTAL HEALTH: Study Finds Most Receive Inadequate Care
A Harvard Medical School study released this week finds that only 14% of Americans suffering from depression, anxiety disorder or panic disorder receive adequate mental health care, Reuters/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The study, which appeared in this week's Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that about 54% of those afflicted with one of the three illnesses sought care, but just one-third of those patients received adequate care. The study found that more Americans sought care from general physicians than mental health experts. Specialists, however, delivered satisfactory care 43% of the time, while general practitioners provided the same level of treatment only 28% of the time. "If you're interested in improving the quality of mental health care, you really have to pay attention to what's happening in primary care," Dr. Philip Wang, the study's lead author, said. The study also revealed that African-Americans were one-tenth as likely to receive adequate care than whites, a statistic Wang attributes to a possible "treatment bias" among professionals and "experiences in treatment" that cause some African-Americans to not continue therapy (5/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.