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Abstract

UTILIZATION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN LEBANON: PATTERNS, BARRIERS AND UNMET NEEDS

Sabah Khudhair Yas* and Monique Chaaya

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Despite the availability and effectiveness of psychotropic medications, people living with mental disorders do not seek help or discontinue treatment. Objectives: To identify the rate of unmet needs, patterns and barriers to seeking care and their relationship to selected socio-demographic characteristics among people experienced mental disorders in the past 12 months. Method: A secondary data analysis based on Lebanese Evaluation for Burden of Ailment and need of Nation study (L.E.B.A.N.O.N). Results: Out of 1031 respondents, 322 (17.9%) were diagnosed with at least one mental disorder in the last year. Of whom, 281 participants did not seek treatment which indicated that unmet needs to seek care was more than 90%. Three types of barriers were assessed, namely: low perceived need, attitudinal and structural barriers. Participants with severe mental disorders were less likely to perceive low need for care compared to those with mild disorder (OR=0.15; CI: 0.02-0.93; P=0.04). Conclusion: The study recommended integration of mental health within the general medical care, training of family doctors and general practitioners on early detection and referral of mental problems and further research on mental health services utilization and unmet needs to seek care in order to keep monitoring any progress achieved in terms of rate of treatment and mental health literacy.

Keywords: Utilization, Patterns, Barriers, Unmet Needs, Mental Health Services.


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