A study has found that race may be a crucial factor in mental health diagnosis. It seems that there is a big correlation between a person’s race and the state of his mental health. The kind of treatment the patient receives after diagnosis widely depends on his race.
The study is conducted on 11 private, non-profit US health care delivery systems which are part of the Mental health Research Network. The data is based on information from 7,523,956 adults who underwent psychiatric treatment in 2011. According to Georgia State University News, Electronic medical records databases and insurance claims were used to determine rates of diagnosis.
Besides, the study provided details on factors like use of medication, diagnostic history and frequency of psychotherapy, as per GoodTherapy.org. The diagnosis included mental health problems like anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
The co-author of the study and assistant professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, Ashli A. Owen-Smith observed, “We saw that prevalence rates for depression and anxiety diagnoses were lower among racial and ethnic minorities compared to non-Hispanic whites.”
“Non-Hispanic whites were consistently higher in (the) use of pharmacotherapy compared to other race-ethnicities. For psychotherapy, interestingly, the rates were similar or sometimes higher for racial or ethnic minorities,” added Owen-smith.
Researchers also said that the overall rate of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment is low irrespective of race and 25% of adults face mental health condition at any given point of time. The findings are published in the journal of Psychiatric services.
Owen-Smith stated, “I think the other thing important to note is that the overall rate of psychotherapy treatment for people with serious mental illness was very low across all race-ethnicities.”
The study also pointed that factors like cultural preferences related to patient and provider could contribute to the findings.