Conventional or Alternative Mental Health Service Utilization According to English Proficiency Among Asians in the United States.

Publication date: Sep 07, 2023

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Asian Americans in the United States have experienced a surge in anti-Asian crimes, leading to heightened psychological distress among this community. Consequently, the mental well-being of Asian Americans demands greater attention than ever. Regrettably, Asians tend to underutilize or delayed mental health care treatments. This study examines the conventional and alternative mental health service utilization among Asians in the United States according to their English proficiency. From the 2015-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, this study examined 3,424 self-identified non-Hispanic Asians aged 18-64 with Kessler score of at least 5. Stratified bivariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression analysis were conducted. Regardless of English proficiency, Asians did not utilize alternative mental health service more than conventional mental health service. However, those with limited English proficiency consistently utilize care less than those with English proficiency. Need factors, such as mental distress severity and self-rated health status, were significant factors associated with their mental health service utilization. English proficiency remains a structural factor in preventing Asians from utilizing mental health services regardless of the nature of services. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more Asians have been experiencing mental distress. This study demonstrates a particular need for mental health services that are culturally specific and Asian language friendly.

Concepts Keywords
Americans Asians’ mental health
Asians English proficiency
Pandemic Health disparities


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH psychological distress
disease MESH limited English proficiency

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