Mental Health Needs and Service Utilization by Hispanic Immigrants Residing in Mid-Southern United States

Ana J. Bridges, Arthur R. Andrews, Tisha L. Deen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study assessed mental health needs and service utilization patterns in a convenience sample of Hispanic immigrants. Design and Method: A total of 84 adult Hispanic participants completed a structured diagnostic interview and a semistructured service utilization interview with trained bilingual research assistants. Results: In the sample, 36% met diagnostic criteria for at least one mental disorder. Although 42% of the sample saw a physician in the prior year, mental health services were being rendered primarily by religious leaders. The most common barriers to service utilization were cost (59%), lack of health insurance (35%), and language (31%). Although more women than men met criteria for a disorder, service utilization rates were comparable. Participants with a mental disorder were significantly more likely to have sought medical, but not psychiatric, services in the prior year and faced significantly more cost barriers than participants without a mental disorder. Conclusions: Findings suggest that Hispanic immigrants, particularly those with a mental illness, need to access services but face numerous systemic barriers. The authors recommend specific ways to make services more affordable and linguistically accessible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • immigrant
  • mental health
  • psychiatric/mental health
  • service utilization
  • survey design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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