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Patterns of Health Care Utilization Before First Episode Psychosis in Racial and Ethnic Groups

To compare patterns of health care utilization associated with first presentation of psychosis among different racial and ethnic groups of patients. The study was a retrospective observational design. The study was conducted in five health care systems in the western United States. All sites were also part of the National Institute of Mental Health-funded Mental Health Research Network (MHRN). Patients (n = 852) were aged 15 – 59 years (average 26.9 ± 12.2 years), 45% women, and primarily non-Hispanic White (53%), with 16% Hispanic, 10% non-Hispanic Black, 6% Asian, 1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American/ Alaskan Native, and 12% unknown race/ethnicity. Variables examined were patterns of health care utilization, type of comorbid mental health condition, and type of treatment received in the three years before first presentation of psychosis. Data abstracted from electronic medical records and insurance claims data were organized into a research virtual data warehouse (VDW) and used for analysis. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, Asian patients (16% vs 34%; P=.007) and non-Hispanic Black patients (20% vs 34%; P=.009) were less likely to have a visit with specialty mental health care before their first presentation of psychosis. Early detection of first episode psychosis should start with wider screening for symptoms outside of any indicators for mental health conditions for non-Hispanic Black and Asian patients.

Authors: Coleman KJ; Yarborough BJ; Beck A; Lynch FL; Stewart C; Penfold RS; Hunkeler EM; Operskalski BH; Simon GE

Ethn Dis. 2019 Fall;29(4):609-616. Epub 2019-10-17.

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