Preventive Medical Services Use Among Community Mental Health Patients With Severe Mental Illness: The Influence of Gender and Insurance Coverage

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Introduction: This study examines predictors of reduced preventive health service use in patients with severe mental illness by examining psychiatric diagnoses and demographic factors.

Method: Of 387 patients approached in 4 community mental health clinics regarding their preventive health services use from January 2005 to May 2007, 234 (60.5%) were interviewed. Of those participants interviewed, 221 had a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of (1) primary psychotic disorder (schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), (2) bipolar disorder, or (3) recurrent major depressive disorder. Psychiatric disorders and demographic factors that predicted high service utilization were analyzed using analysis of variance and χ2 tests.

Results: In the linear predictive model, use of preventive services was not statistically different among the 3 diagnostic groups. Participants with primary psychotic disorder used a similar number of preventive services compared to those with bipolar disorder and major depression. Women used more services than men (P < .01), and individuals with health insurance used more than uninsured participants (P < .001).

Conclusion: Male gender and not having medical insurance were predictive of lower preventive health service use in this sample of patients with severe mental illness. Further research is needed to replicate these findings and to improve use of preventive health services in people with severe mental illness.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2010;12(5):e1–e6

Submitted: November 16, 2009; accepted January 28, 2010.

Published online: September 30, 2010 (doi:10.4088/PCC.09m00927gre).

Corresponding author: Glen L. Xiong, MD, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of California at Davis, 2230 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95817-1419 (

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2010;12(5):e1-e6