Culturally sensitive care is thought to take into account a person's specific cultural values and preferences when providing mental health care services. Latinos currently comprise 17% of the total U.S. population at 50.5 million and persons of Mexican heritage constitute over 66% of all Latinos in the United States. Persons of Mexican heritage experience higher rates of mental health issues and illness with 30% lifetime incidence versus 20% incidence for Anglos. Few studies have focused on the mental health treatment preferences for persons of Mexican heritage. Treatment preferences could reflect personal characteristics, acculturation perspective about mental health issues and illness, and experience with treatment. Mass media may also influence treatment preferences and mental health information-seeking. The purpose of this study was to describe preferences for mental health treatment services for persons of Mexican heritage living in the Southwest along the United States-Mexico border. Twenty-one participants were interviewed individually and their responses analyzed using Atlas-ti qualitative analysis software. The participants reported twenty-five mental health treatment preferences. The top six preferences—medication, going to the doctor, social and family support, counseling and herbal medicines, were consistent throughout demographic categories of age, gender, income, generational status, insurance status, education, and acculturation. Self-management interventions and integrative medicine were also reported as treatment preferences. Participants reported media use of television, internet, books and magazines, in-person interaction, and radio as primary mental health information sources. Media influences on mental health included education/information, hope, normalization, and a catalyst for conversation. Ascribed meanings for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder included cognitive, behavioral, and interactional reports. Mental health services for persons of Mexican heritage should include varying holistic mental health treatment practices, recognizing the need for understanding of potential meanings for mental health issues and illness. Persons of Mexican heritage report the desire for the same types of allopathic care including medications and counseling as Anglos in the US. Additionally, self-management interventions and integrative medicine therapies, as well as innovative media outreach methods were reported as integral to the holistic treatment process of obtaining help for mental health issues and illness.
|Advisor:||Michaels, Cathy L.|
|Commitee:||Koithan, Mary S., Rosenfeld, Anne G.|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Nursing, Clinical psychology, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||Latino, Media use, Mental health, Mexican, Psychiatry, Treatment preferences|
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