Treatment and adequacy of treatment of mental disorders among respondents to the Mexico National Comorbidity Survey

Guilherme Borges, Maria Elena Medina-Mora, Philip S Wang, Carmen Lara, Patricia Berglund, Ellen Walters
American Journal of Psychiatry 2006, 163 (8): 1371-8

OBJECTIVE: This study described the rate and adequacy of mental health service use among participants in the Mexico National Comorbidity Survey and the correlates of any 12-month treatment and of adequate treatment.

METHOD: The authors conducted face-to-face household surveys of a probability sample of individuals ages 18 to 65 years in the noninstitutionalized population living in urban areas of Mexico from 2001 to 2002. The use of mental health services and 12-month DSM-IV disorders was assessed with the World Mental Health version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. The rates and correlates of any service use and the adequacy of treatment were identified in logistic regression analyses, taking into account the complex sample design and weighting process.

RESULTS: The data reported here were based on 2,362 interviews. Fewer than one in five respondents with any psychiatric disorder during the last 12 months used any service during the prior year. The rates of service use by those with mood disorders were somewhat higher. About one in every two respondents who used services received minimally adequate care.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors found large unmet needs for mental health services among those with psychiatric disorders. Those with mental illness and those who deliver or seek to improve mental health care in Mexico face enormous challenges.

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