Determinants of Mental Health Consultations Among Recent Chinese Immigrants in British Columbia, Canada: Implications for Mental Health Risk and Access to Services

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Linked immigration and health administrative databases were analyzed to study the factors associated with the rate of mental health consultations with physicians in 1992–2001 of over 150,000 Chinese immigrants in British Columbia, Canada. Results showed that number of years since landing and rate of non-mental health visits to general practitioners were the most consistent variables associated with mental health consultations to general practitioners and psychiatrists in all sex and age groups. Other variables associated with the rate of consultations were age, place of origin, educational level, marital status and English skill. Supply of physicians was not observed to be associated with mental health consultations. The findings are consistent with Andersen's behavioral model of health care utilization and introduce components specially pertinent to immigrants and mental health service utilization. They also highlight sub-populations among immigrants who may be at risk of experiencing mental health problems or encountering barriers to care.

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