Disparities in Trauma and Mental Health Service Use

by Sarah J. Gaillot

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A burgeoning literature suggests that significant disparities in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) risk may exist, especially for racial-ethnic minorities and women. Individuals with PTSD report more barriers to care than those with other anxiety disorders, and only about half of those with PTSD receive even minimally adequate treatment. However, little is known about the interaction of race-ethnicity and gender in trauma and PTSD or about PTSD treatment patterns and preferences by demographic group. This study examined racial-ethnic and gender disparities in trauma and PTSD, barriers to mental health care, and mental health service utilization.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2010 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Lisa Meredith (Chair), Eunice Wong, and Susan Paddock.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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