Influence of comorbid alcohol and psychiatric disorders on utilization of mental health services in the National Comorbidity Survey.
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OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine how comorbidity of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders affects the likelihood of using mental health services. METHOD: The analysis was based on data on adults aged 18-54 years in the National Comorbidity Survey (N = 5,393). Users and nonusers of mental health and substance abuse services were compared in terms of their demographic characteristics, recent stressful life events, social support, parental history of psychopathology, self-medication, and symptoms of alcohol abuse/dependence. RESULTS: The prevalence of service utilization varied by diagnostic configurations. Comorbid psychiatric or alcohol disorders were stronger predictors of service utilization than a pure psychiatric or alcohol disorder. Factors predicting utilization of services differed for each disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Since comorbidity increases the use of mental health and substance abuse services, research on the relationship of psychiatric and alcohol-related disorders to service utilization needs to consider the coexistence of mental disorders. Attempts to reduce barriers to help seeking for those in need of treatment should be increased.
Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
Factor Analysis, Statistical
Mental Health Services
Continental Population Groups
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1176/ajp.156.8.1230
Publication InfoWu, Li-Tzy; Kouzis, AC; & Leaf, PJ (1999). Influence of comorbid alcohol and psychiatric disorders on utilization of mental health services in the National Comorbidity Survey. The American journal of psychiatry, 156(8). pp. 1230-1236. 10.1176/ajp.156.8.1230. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20023.
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Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Education/Training: Pre- and post-doctoral training in mental health service research, psychiatric epidemiology (NIMH T32), and addiction epidemiology (NIDA T32) from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (Maryland); Fellow of the NIH Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials.Director: Duke Community Based Substance Use Disorder Research Program.Node Principal Investigator/Director: Mid-Southern Node of the National Drug Abuse Trea