Identifying mismatch and match between clinical needs and mental healthcare use trajectories in people with anxiety and depression: Results of a longitudinal study

J Affect Disord. 2021 Sep 29;297:657-670. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.09.054. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Mismatch between need and mental healthcare (MHC) use (under-and overuse) has mainly been studied with cross-sectional designs, not accurately capturing patterns of persistence or change in clinical burden and MHC-use among persons with depressive and/or anxiety disorders.

AIMS: Determining and describing [mis]match of longitudinal trajectories of clinical burden and MHC-use.

METHODS: Six-year longitudinal burden and MHC-use data came from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (n=2981). The sample was split into four subgroups: I) no clinical burden but constant MHC use, II) constant clinical burden but no MHC-use, III) changing clinical burden and MHC-use, and IV) healthy non-users. Within subgroups I)-III), specific clinical burden and MHC trajectories were identified (growth mixture modeling). The resulting classes’ associations with predisposing, enabling, and need factors were investigated (regression analysis).

RESULTS: Subgroups I-III revealed different trajectories. I) increasing MHC without burden (4.1%). II) slightly increasing (1.9%), strongly increasing (2.4%), and decreasing (9.5%) burden without MHC. III) increasing (41.4%) or decreasing (19.4%) burden and concurrently increasing MHC use (first underuse, then matched care), thus revealing delayed MHC-use. Only having suicidal ideation (p<.001, Cohen’s d= .6-1.5) was a significant determinant of being in latter classes compared to underusers (strongly increasing burden without MHC-use).

LIMITATIONS: More explanatory factors are needed to explain [mis]match.

CONCLUSION: Mismatch occurred as constant underuse or as delayed MHC-use in a high-income country (Netherlands). Additionally, no meaningful class revealed constantly matched care on average. Presence of suicidal ideation could influence the probability of symptomatic individuals receiving matched MHC or not.

PMID:34763294 | DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2021.09.054

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