The Association Between Moderate and Serious Mental Health Distress and General Health Services Utilization Among Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Adults in California

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Jan 15. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00946-w. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: A growing body of literature has indicated that disaggregated analyses using distinct Asian subgroups allow for identification of varying mental health challenges and health services utilization. In this study, we examined the associations between distress and health services utilization among five Asian subgroups: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Vietnamese adults in California.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a combined dataset using the 2011-2018 cross-sectional cycles of the California Health Interview survey, we assessed moderate and serious distress and four health services utilization indicators in a set of disaggregated analyses among adults 18 years of age and older in five Asian subgroups. We performed bivariate and multivariable analyses.

RESULTS: The prevalence of and associations between moderate and serious distress and gaps in health services utilization varied among each Asian subgroup. Koreans had the highest prevalence of moderate and serious distress and the most gaps in health services utilization. Compared to those without moderate distress (p < .05), Japanese adults were more likely to delay care. Compared to those without serious distress (p < .05), Chinese adults who experienced serious distress were more likely to delay both medications and care, whereas Filipino and Vietnamese adults were more likely to delay medications.

DISCUSSION: Disaggregating health data elucidates the impact of mental distress on healthcare-seeking behaviors among specific Asian subgroups. Identifying these influences can facilitate future tailored interventions, yet fully understanding the mechanism linking mental distress and healthcare usage will necessitate a comprehensive assessment of structural influences and Asian American experiences without otherization.

PMID:33452574 | DOI:10.1007/s40615-020-00946-w