Category: Adult Anxiety

Symposium

Access to Care Among Underserved Young Adults With Anxiety Disorders

Friday, November 17
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Anxiety | Service Delivery | Hispanic Americans
Presentation Type: Symposium

Background: Underserved populations, specifically Latino groups with anxiety disorders, seldom seek treatment. Longitudinal studies following pathways to obtaining mental health treatment starting in childhood have documented a steep drop in treatment in young adulthood (Copeland et al., 2015). To mitigate this situation, we need a concentrated effort to link participants to mental health treatment during this developmental stage. For that to be successful, care provided should be evidence-based, developmentally and culturally informed. In this presentation, we examine the role of prior treatment, referral patterns and satisfaction with prior treatment as important components of linking underserved Latino young adults with anxiety disorders to mental health treatment.


Methods: Participants were (n=25) patients receiving treatment for anxiety at WH-YAC. Of these, 56% were female with mean age of 17.69 (SD=1.86). 76% of participants self-identified as Latino. As part of clinic intake, participants completed a 3-item measure assessing how they learned about the clinic, their previous treatment history, and their satisfaction with previous treatment. All participants provided informed consent to participate in research.


Results: Most participants learned about the clinic from a doctor or other healthcare provider (n=14), followed by a family member (n=8) and friend or co-worker (n=2). Sixty percent (n=15) had been in treatment with a psychologist and psychiatrist previously. Of these, 73% (n=11) found that treatment helpful.


Conclusions: In the WH-YAC, which is part of a larger hospital-based system, we learned that referrals to our treatment program specializing in anxiety disorders primarily came from other providers. Most participants were in prior treatment that they found helpful. However, additional treatment was felt necessary. The evidence-based, developmentally and culturally informed aspects of the WH-YAC may have propelled these participants to pursue further treatment. Broader understanding of access to care in this population would require learning about the experiences of those who do not access care.

Cristiane Duarte

Associate Professor and Co-Director, Washington Heights Youth Anxiety Center
Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital

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