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Does socioeconomic status affect the use of community-based psychiatric services? A south Verona case register study

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Tello JE, Mazzi M, Tansella M, Bonizzato P, Jones J, Amaddeo F. Does socioeconomic status affect the use of community-based psychiatric services? A south Verona case register study.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005: 1–9. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2005. Objective: 

To assess the effect of socioeconomic status (SES) on psychiatric service use in an Italian area with a well-developed community-based psychiatric service. Method: 

An index of SES was calculated from nine census variables and grouped into four categories, ranging from SES-I-affluent to SES-IV-deprived, for each of 328 census blocks (CB). Fifteen indicators of psychiatric service use were collected using the psychiatric case register. All patients resident in the catchment area, who had at least one psychiatric contact in 1996 (n = 989), were included in the study. Results: 

Indicators of in-patient, day-patient, out-patient and community service use showed an inverse association with SES. Only first-ever and long-term psychotic patients were equally distributed in the four SES groups. Conclusion: 

The inverse association between SES and most indicators of psychiatric service use suggests that the planning of community-based services and resource allocation should take into account the SES of residents.
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Keywords: community mental health services; community psychiatry; health services evaluation; socioeconomic factors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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