Ethnic differences in mental health and lifestyle issues: results from multi-item general practice screening

N Z Med J. 2005 Apr 1;118(1212):U1374.


Aim: To determine ethnic differences in response, acceptance and desire to address problems identified by the multi-item screening tool (MIST).

Methods: Patients were assessed using the MIST in urban Auckland. Fifty consecutive adult patients from 20 randomly selected practices completed the MIST and evaluation sheet before their consultation. All patients and general practitioners (GPs) completed feedback forms. Analysis adjusted for the clustered nature of the data.

Results: Participants were 1000 patients and 20 urban GPs. The participation rate was 87% of GPs and 97.75% of patients. Compared with New Zealand Europeans, Pacific Island people were significantly more likely to be concerned about abuse and anger control. Maori were significantly more likely to want help with cutting down their alcohol use. The screening tool was accepted by all patients (<1% objection rate) regardless of ethnicity.

Discussion: This is the first study to examine possible ethnic differences between primary care patients' response to screening on lifestyle behaviours and mental health issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Family Practice
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Medical History Taking
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Health*
  • New Zealand
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Physicians, Family / psychology
  • Spouse Abuse / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*