Frequency and quality of mental health treatment for affective and anxiety disorders among Australian adults

Harris, Meredith G., Hobbs, Megan J., Burgess, Philip M., Pirkis, Jane E., Diminic, Sandra, Siskind, Dan, Andrews, Gavin and Whiteford, Harvey (2015) Frequency and quality of mental health treatment for affective and anxiety disorders among Australian adults. Medical Journal of Australia, 202 4: 185-189. doi:10.5694/mja14.00297

Author Harris, Meredith G.
Hobbs, Megan J.
Burgess, Philip M.
Pirkis, Jane E.
Diminic, Sandra
Siskind, Dan
Andrews, Gavin
Whiteford, Harvey
Title Frequency and quality of mental health treatment for affective and anxiety disorders among Australian adults
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
Publication date 2015-03-02
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5694/mja14.00297
Volume 202
Issue 4
Start page 185
End page 189
Total pages 5
Place of publication Strawberry Hills NSW, Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: To describe the frequency, type and quality of mental health treatment among Australian adults with past-year affective and/or anxiety disorders.

Design, setting and participants: Retrospective analysis of data for 8831 adults aged 16–85 years interviewed for the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, of whom 17% (n = 1517) met International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) criteria for a past-year affective and/or anxiety disorder.

Main outcome measures: Three levels of mental health treatment received in the past year: (1) any consultation with a health professional for mental health; (2) any evidence-based intervention (antidepressant medication, mood stabiliser medication, cognitive behaviour therapy and/or psychotherapy); and (3) minimally adequate treatment (a “dose” of an evidence-based intervention above a minimum threshold, consistent with treatment guidelines).

Results: Of participants with past-year affective and/or anxiety disorders, 39% sought professional help for mental health, 26% received an evidence-based treatment, and 16% received minimally adequate treatment. After controlling for clinical factors including type and severity of disorder, the odds of all levels of treatment were lower among younger adults (16–29 years) compared with middle-aged adults, and the odds of receiving an evidence-based treatment or minimally adequate treatment were lower among people who consulted a general practitioner only compared with a mental health professional.

Conclusions: Closing the gap in treatment quality requires strategies to increase the use of evidence-based interventions, and to ensure these are delivered in sufficient doses. Research to elucidate why some patients are at increased risk of inadequate treatment, and the aspects of treatment that contribute to inadequate care, is indicated.
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
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 07 Mar 2015, 01:18:54 EST by Ms Sandra Diminic on behalf of School of Public Health