Mental health is an inevitable and vital dimension when it comes to providing a global definition for the appropriate health status. This highlights the importance of investigating factors influencing utilization and out-of-pocket payments (OOP) for mental health services. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to assess the determinants of the utilization and OOP for psychiatric healthcare in Iran.
A total of 39,864 households were included in this cross-sectional study. Data on the utilization and OOP for psychiatric healthcare as well as all their determinants (e.g. wealth index of households, geographical area, household size, etc.) were extracted from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES). The HIES was conducted by the Statistical Center of Iran in 2016. A zero-inflated Tobit model was used to identify the main factors affecting utilization and OOP for psychiatric healthcare utilization.
The average of utilization and OOP for psychiatric services was found to be 14.67 times per 1,000 households and $7.783 per month for service users, respectively. There were significant positive relationships between income and utilization (p=0.0002) and OOP (p<0.0001) for psychiatric services. Significant negative associations were found between the number of illiterate people in the household and OOP (coefficient=−1.56) and utilization (coefficient=−0.2002) for psychiatric services. Utilization and OOP for psychiatric services were statistically significantly higher among households with higher wealth status.
Despite the higher rate of mental disorders, the utilization of psychiatric services in Iran is very low. Due to financial barriers and insufficient insurance coverage, high socioeconomic status (SES) households utilize more psychiatric services than low-SES households. Thus, the integration of mental health services in public health programs is required to improve the utilization of psychiatric services in Iran.
Homaie Rad, E., Amirbeik, L., Hajizadeh, M., Yousefzadeh-Chabok, S., Mohtasham-Amiri, Z., Rezaei, S. and Reihanian, A. (2019), "Determinants of utilization and out-of-pocket payments for psychiatric healthcare in Iran", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 127-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-03-2019-0036Download as .RIS
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