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Private health insurance, mental health and service use in Australia

Leach, L. S.; Butterworth, Peter; Whiteford, Harvey

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OBJECTIVE: To report on the private health insurance (PHI) status of individuals with and without a mental health problem, and examine whether PHI status is associated with access to psychological services. METHODS: This is a descriptive study of nationally representative population-based data collected in 2009 (HILDA) with participants aged 15–93 (n = 13,301). Key measures included: PHI status (categorised as ‘hospital cover only’, ‘extras cover only’, or ‘both hospital and extras cover’);...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLeach, L. S.
dc.contributor.authorButterworth, Peter
dc.contributor.authorWhiteford, Harvey
dc.date.accessioned2015-03-05T22:49:06Z
dc.date.available2015-03-05T22:49:06Z
dc.identifier.issn0004-8674
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/12824
dc.description.abstractOBJECTIVE: To report on the private health insurance (PHI) status of individuals with and without a mental health problem, and examine whether PHI status is associated with access to psychological services. METHODS: This is a descriptive study of nationally representative population-based data collected in 2009 (HILDA) with participants aged 15–93 (n = 13,301). Key measures included: PHI status (categorised as ‘hospital cover only’, ‘extras cover only’, or ‘both hospital and extras cover’); mental health status (categorised as ‘have a mental health problem’ or ‘do not have a mental health problem’ using the Mental Health Index (MHI) of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form); mental health service use (access to a mental health professional (psychologist/psychiatrist) in the past 12 months (categorised as ‘yes’ or ‘no’). RESULTS: Individuals with a mental health problem were less likely to have PHI than those without a mental health problem. However, PHI was not associated with access to a mental health professional in the past 12 months. Conclusions: The findings suggest that while the discrepancy in PHI status is a marker of inequity between those with and without a mental health problem, it is not a key factor in facilitating access to mental health services.
dc.description.sponsorshipP. B. is supported by NHMRC Population Health Career Development Award Fellowship No. 525410. This paper uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Leach et al. 475 Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46(5) Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (MIAESR). The findings and views reported in this paper, however, are those of the author and should not be attributed to either FaHCSIA or the MIAESR.
dc.publisherSage
dc.rights© The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2012
dc.sourceAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
dc.subjectAdolescent
dc.subjectAdult
dc.subjectAged
dc.subjectAged, 80 and over
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectFemale
dc.subjectHealth Services Accessibility
dc.subjectHealth Surveys
dc.subjectHumans
dc.subjectInsurance, Health
dc.subjectMale
dc.subjectMental Health
dc.subjectMental Health Services
dc.subjectMiddle Aged
dc.titlePrivate health insurance, mental health and service use in Australia
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume46
dc.date.issued2012
local.identifier.absfor111714 - Mental Health
local.identifier.ariespublicationu5088582xPUB10
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.uk.sagepub.com/home.nav
local.type.statusPublished version
local.contributor.affiliationButterworth, P, Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationLeach, L. S., Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/525410
local.identifier.essn1440-1614
local.bibliographicCitation.issue5
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage468
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage475
local.identifier.doi10.1177/0004867411434713
local.identifier.absseo920209 - Mental Health Services
dc.date.updated2015-12-08T02:58:26Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84865292032
local.identifier.thomsonID000304181700010
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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