Pharmacotherapy in the Public Sector Care of Hispanics
It is believed that the unique characteristics of Hispanics, rooted in their cultural heritage, play a major role in their utilization of mental health services and response to pharmacotherapeutic treatment (1,2). Moreover, it is believed that the Hispanic patient seen in the public sector typically suffers from a major psychiatric disorder. Epidemiological studies have suggested that the poor, including Hispanics, are more often labeled as being severely mentally disordered, and that the Hispanic population suffers a higher incidence of major psychiatric disorder than the general population (3,4). Some studies report that there are more Hispanics who have functionally impairing symptomatology compared to other persons who are mentally ill (4,5). Still other research has shown that low income, poorly educated patients, Hispanics included, are accepted less often into psychotherapy (7). Furthermore, low income groups generally receive less physician time than more affluent groups (8), and are more likely to be on chemotherapy (7). Thus the public sector mental health care network is most often the primary point of access for Hispanics who require mental health services in the United States, and pharmacotherapy is considered to be an integral part of the treatment plan for the Hispanic patient.
KeywordsMental Health Service Hispanic Patient Major Psychiatric Disorder Affluent Group Multiple Classification Analysis
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