Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use

The study under consideration researches ethical differences in treating patients with psychotic disorders. The authors of the article indicate that undertaking the research was necessary for addressing the concerns that “community mental health services may be failing in minority ethnic patients” (Mohan, McCrone, Szmukler, et al. 771). Providing background information, the study points at the lack of data on the intensive community treatment effects and turns attention to the high rates of the ethnic minorities’ compulsory admission. This helps to understand the aims of the study, explains the particular methods used, and further contributes to the evaluation and discussion of the results of the study.

When discussing the methods of the study the authors carefully described the sample of investigation and the procedures used, making the study possible to repeat. The authors refer to their previous studies (conducted in 1992 and 1994) when discussing the data collection, design, and sampling details, as well as carefully describe modifications of the methods for the change of conditions in which the research was carried out (the level of care delivered). The authors explain that measuring the service use was necessary because altering the treatment environment (from hospital to community, for instance) shows the difference in the quality of care delivered. No potential problems of the methods used or their limitations were indicated, but the researchers use appropriate statistical methods when evaluating the results using boot-strapping methods to define statistical significance and produce reliable confidence intervals (Mohan et al. 772).

The evaluation of the results shows that the experiments were conducted by the objectives of the study. The results of the study help support the authors’ hypothesis and presenting them in tabular form allows evaluating the patients’ background, the frequency of their contacting mental services, and tracing change in their inpatient days depending on ethnicity. In addition, a bootstrapped linear regression model was designed by the researchers to prove the appropriateness of their statistical analysis.

Finally, the objectives of the study have been met, though not all the objectives were met. After obtaining the results the authors compared them with available information discovering that there were “no significant differences in the use of different community services between the two groups” (Mohan et al. 773). Discussing the difference in socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients seems unnecessary because this does not influence the results. Moreover, the researchers did not manage to prove that many ethnic differences existed in the use of hospital services, which is explained by the fact that the patients used different sets of services in different time periods. It was not always that the data were interpreted adequately because the authors state that such limitations as using patients’ recall rather than medical records for service use measurement is reliable, which is not true because patients with mental diseases were used for the study.

Thus, the study does not meet all the objectives and has serious limitations, which requires its repetition taking the weaknesses into account.

Work Cited

Mohan, Rajesh, McCrone, George, Szmukler, George, Micali, Nadia, Afurwape, Sarah, and Thornicroft, Graham. “Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Patients with Psychotic Disorders.” Soc. Psychiatr. Epidemiol. 41 (2006): 771-776.