Males' mental health disadvantage: An estimation of gender-specific changes in service utilisation for mental and substance use disorders in Australia

Harris, Meredith G., Diminic, Sandra, Reavley, Nicola, Baxter, Amanda, Pirkis, Jane and Whiteford, Harvey A. (2015) Males' mental health disadvantage: An estimation of gender-specific changes in service utilisation for mental and substance use disorders in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49 9: 821-832. doi:10.1177/0004867415577434


Author Harris, Meredith G.
Diminic, Sandra
Reavley, Nicola
Baxter, Amanda
Pirkis, Jane
Whiteford, Harvey A.
Title Males' mental health disadvantage: An estimation of gender-specific changes in service utilisation for mental and substance use disorders in Australia
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8674
1440-1614
Publication date 2015-09
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0004867415577434
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 49
Issue 9
Start page 821
End page 832
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Concerns about low levels of service utilisation for mental and substance use disorders in Australia – especially among males – have prompted targeted help-seeking and stigma-reduction initiatives. Resulting changes in service utilisation according to gender are unknown. We modelled the percentage of Australian males with a mental or substance use disorder who used services each year between 2006–2007 and 2011–2012, and the types of services they used, relative to females.

Methods: Twelve-month prevalence of mental and substance use disorders, stratified by gender, was synthesised from existing estimates. The percentage of males and females with these disorders who used mental health services in each year from 2006–2007 to 2011–2012 was modelled from published programme activity data, supplemented by analyses of epidemiological survey data. Uncertainty analysis quantified the effects of sampling error and assumptions on the estimates.

Results: Modelling showed a significant increase in the percentage of people with mental or substance use disorders who used services for their mental health – from 32.0% in 2006–2007 to 40.0% in 2011–2012 in males and from 45.1% in 2006–2007 to 54.6% in 2011–2012 in females. Growth was driven largely by uptake of private specialised services – males’ use of these services grew by 92.7% and females’ by 115.4%. There appeared to be a non-significant decrease in use of general practitioner-only mental health care for males (−17.9%), and a significant decrease in the same for females (−35.1%); however, some assumptions made in the modelling of general practitioner-only care require validation. In 2006–2007, the percentage of females treated was 40.9% higher than for males; in 2011–2012, it was 36.6% greater.

Conclusions: Recently implemented initiatives have improved males’ likelihood of service utilisation, particularly their use of specialised mental health services. Although the gender gap may have narrowed, improving males’ access to services should remain a policy priority.
Keyword Gender
mental disorders
substance use disorders
health services
epidemiology
2007 National-Survey
United-States
General-Practitioners
Care
Comorbidity
Depression
Prevalence
Countries
Beliefs
Anxiety
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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