Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care Utilization among U.S. College Students: Applying the Institution of Medicine Definition of Health Care Disparities

Publication Abstract

Hunt, Justin B., Daniel Eisenberg, Liya Lu, and Molly Gathright. 2015. "Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care Utilization among U.S. College Students: Applying the Institution of Medicine Definition of Health Care Disparities." Academic Psychiatry, 39(5): 520-526.

Objective The authors apply the Institute of Medicine's definition of health care disparities to college students. Methods The analysis pools data from the first two waves of the Healthy Minds Study, a multicampus survey of students' mental health (N = 13,028). A probit model was used for any past-year service utilization, and group differences in health status were adjusted by transforming the entire distribution for each minority population to approximate the white distribution. Results Disparities existed between whites and all minority groups. Compared to other approaches, the predicted service disparities were greater because this method included the effects of mediating SES variables. Conclusions Health care disparities persist in the college setting despite improved access and nearly universal insurance coverage. Our findings emphasize the importance of investigating potential sources of disparities beyond geography and coverage.

10.1007/s40596-014-0148-1

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