Use of mental health-related services among immigrant and US-born Asian Americans: results from the National Latino and Asian American Study

Am J Public Health. 2007 Jan;97(1):91-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.098541. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Abstract

Objectives: We examined rates of mental health-related service use (i.e., any, general medical, and specialty mental health services) as well as subjective satisfaction with and perceived helpfulness of care in a national sample of Asian Americans, with a particular focus on immigration-related factors.

Methods: Data were derived from the National Latino and Asian American Study (2002-2003).

Results: About 8.6% of the total sample (n=2095) sought any mental health-related services; 34.1% of individuals who had a probable diagnosis sought any services. Rates of mental health-related service use, subjective satisfaction, and perceived helpfulness varied by birthplace and by generation. US-born Asian Americans demonstrated higher rates of service use than did their immigrant counterparts. Third-generation or later individuals who had a probable diagnosis had high (62.6%) rates of service use in the previous 12 months.

Conclusions: Asian Americans demonstrated lower rates of any type of mental health-related service use than did the general population, although there are important exceptions to this pattern according to nativity status and generation status. Our results underscore the importance of immigration-related factors in understanding service use among Asian Americans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans / psychology*
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • China / epidemiology
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Philippines / ethnology
  • Residence Characteristics
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vietnam / ethnology