Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Services among the Elderly in the Rural of Vietnam: A Cross Sectional Survey in 2019

Health Serv Insights. 2021 Jun 21;14:11786329211026035. doi: 10.1177/11786329211026035. eCollection 2021.


While the burden of neurological and mental disorders has been drastically increased in Vietnam, the current mental healthcare services do not meet the public demand. In order to determine perceived barriers to the use of mental health services, we conducted a cross-sectional study on 376 elderly people from a rural district in Hanoi, Vietnam. We found that depression may be an important indicator of the need for formal and informal community and home care mental health services. Barriers to mental healthcare access were categorized into 7 groups namely stigma, emotional concerns, participation restrictions, service satisfaction, time constraints, geographic and financial conditions, and availability of services. The most significant barriers are the limited availability of and accessibility to health professionals and services in rural areas. Our study highlights the urgent efforts that need to be made in order to enhance availability of mental healthcare services in rural areas of Vietnam.

Keywords: Vietnam; elderly; mental health services; perceived barriers; rural.