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Cultural beliefs and mental health treatment preferences of ethnically diverse older adult consumers in primary care

TitleCultural beliefs and mental health treatment preferences of ethnically diverse older adult consumers in primary care
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsJimenez, DE, Bartels, SJ, Cardenas, V, Dhaliwal, SS, Alegria, M
JournalAm J Geriatr PsychiatryAm J Geriatr Psychiatry
Volume20
Pagination533-42
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number1545-7214 (Electronic)<br/>1064-7481 (Linking)
Accession Number21992942
KeywordsAfrican Americans/psychology, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Asian Americans/psychology, Attitude to Health/ ethnology, Culture, European Continental Ancestry Group/psychology, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice/ethnology, Hispanic Americans/psychology, Humans, Mental Disorders/ psychology, Patient Preference/ ethnology, Primary Health Care
AbstractBACKGROUND: Beliefs concerning the causes of mental illness may help to explain why there are significant disparities in the rates of formal mental health service use among racial/ethnic minority elderly as compared with their white counterparts. This study applies the cultural influences on mental health framework to identify the relationship between race/ethnicity and differences in 1) beliefs on the cause of mental illness, 2) preferences for type of treatment, and 3) provider characteristics. METHOD: Analyses were conducted using baseline data collected from participants who completed the cultural attitudes toward healthcare and mental illness questionnaire, developed for the Primary Care Research in Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Elderly study, a multisite randomized trial for older adults (65+) with depression, anxiety, or at-risk alcohol consumption. The final sample consisted of 1,257 non-Latino whites, 536 African Americans, 112 Asian Americans, and 303 Latinos. RESULTS: African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos had differing beliefs regarding the causes of mental illness when compared with non-Latino whites. Race/ethnicity was also associated with determining who makes healthcare decisions, treatment preferences, and preferred characteristics of healthcare providers. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the association between race/ethnicity and health beliefs, treatment preferences, healthcare decisions, and consumers' preferred characteristics of healthcare providers. Accommodating the values and preferences of individuals can be helpful in engaging racial/ethnic minority patients in mental health services.
Ethno Med: