Barriers to primary medical care among patients at a community mental health center

Psychiatr Serv. 2003 Aug;54(8):1158-60. doi: 10.1176/


People with chronic mental disorders may be at risk of reduced access to medical treatment and poor quality of medical care. The authors examined receipt of and barriers to medical treatment among patients at a community mental health center. Fifty-nine patients completed a validated instrument for measuring access to medical care and the quality of primary care. Their responses indicated problems with access to care, and their scores were significantly lower than those of the general population on all four domains used to assess the quality of primary medical care. The findings suggest the need for community mental health centers to better assess and address barriers to primary medical care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Community Mental Health Centers / standards*
  • Comprehensive Health Care
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Psychiatric
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / economics
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • United States