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Health Serv Res. 1989 April; 24(1): 83–103.
PMCID: PMC1065553

Determining provider choice for the treatment of mental disorder: the role of health and mental health status.


This article specifies and estimates a model of provider choice for mental health services. Three types of providers are identified: specialty mental health providers, general medical providers, and informal providers. Specific attention is paid to the role of health and mental health status in determining provider choice. The model is estimated using a multinomial logit approach applied to a sample of 2,800 respondents to the Baltimore Epidemiological Catchment Area Survey. The results are largely consistent with the previous work of Wells et al. (1982), suggesting that health and mental health status play an important role in the decision to seek care but have little effect on the type of provider chosen. The results also reveal that 22 percent of individuals obtaining mental health care did so through the informal care sector. One exemplary benefit design simulation is performed using the estimation results.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Anthony JC, Folstein M, Romanoski AJ, Von Korff MR, Nestadt GR, Chahal R, Merchant A, Brown CH, Shapiro S, Kramer M, et al. Comparison of the lay Diagnostic Interview Schedule and a standardized psychiatric diagnosis. Experience in eastern Baltimore. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985 Jul;42(7):667–675. [PubMed]
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  • Frank RG, McGuire TG. A review of studies of the impact of insurance on the demand and utilization of specialty mental health services. Health Serv Res. 1986 Jun;21(2 Pt 2):241–265. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ware JE, Jr, Manning WG, Jr, Duan N, Wells KB, Newhouse JP. Health status and the use of outpatient mental health services. Am Psychol. 1984 Oct;39(10):1090–1100. [PubMed]

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