Use of Mental Health Services by Men Injured Through Community Violence

Published in: Psychiatric Services, v. 55, no. 4, Apr. 2004, p. 415-420

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2003

by Lisa H. Jaycox, Grant N. Marshall, Terry L. Schell

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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the use of mental health services and predictors of use among men injured through community violence. METHODS: This one-year prospective study examined use of mental health services in a sample of 231 men who were injured through community violence and hospitalized at an urban trauma center. Predictors of mental health service use that were examined included age, ethnicity, income, neuroticism, injury severity, previous mental health service use, and need for services. Need for services was defined objectively by self-report of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and subjectively by perception of an injury-related emotional problem. RESULTS: Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that older age, non-Latino ethnicity, previous use of services, and need for services predicted service use in the year after the injury. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, objective and subjective need for services and older age predicted postinjury service use. In the subset of men who were symptomatic postinjury, only older age and objective need predicted use of mental health services. CONCLUSIONS: Despite high rates of need for services related to PTSD after violent injury in this sample, the rate of mental health service use was low. Psychoeducation about postinjury reactions and attention to structural barriers to services may help increase rates of care in this population.

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