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Use of Services by Persons With Mental and Addictive Disorders:  Findings From the National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program

William E. Narrow, MD, MPH; Darrel A. Regier; Donald S. Rae, MA; Ronald W. Manderscheid, PhD; Ben Z. Locke, MSPH
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(2):95-107. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820140017002.
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• The use of ambulatory and inpatient mental health and addiction services in the United States was estimated by means of data from the National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program standardized to the 1980 US census for adults 18 years of age and older. In a 1-year period, 22.8 million people used ambulatory services for mental or addictive disorder treatment; 54% of them had a current Diagnostic Interview Schedule/DSM-III mental disorder and another 37.4% had a history of psychiatric disorder or significant psychiatric symptoms. A total of 325.9 million ambulatory visits were made, and the average number of visits per treated person per year was 14.3. There were 1.4 million persons admitted to at least one inpatient mental health or addiction setting during a 1-year period; 80% of them had a current DIS/DSM-III disorder, and the remainder had a history of psychiatric disorder or significant psychiatric symptoms. Results were determined for specific mental and substance use diagnoses and service settings. Among treated persons with any mental or addictive disorder, the majority of visits were to mental and addictive disorders specialty settings (40.5% of total visits) and to support networks composed of friends, relatives, and self-help groups (37.0% of total visits). Although a large number of persons with mental and substance use disorders were seen in the general medical sector for mental health or addiction problems, they were seen less frequently and therefore made fewer visits to this sector (10.9% of total visits).

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