Individuals in metropolitan counties used mental health services more than those in rural counties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the mental health care landscape in the United States. According to a study published in 2020, he said, while utilization of in-person mental health services fell by more than 50%, there was an influx of people seeking telemedicine services for mental health. JAMA network openThis led to a slight increase in the number of people using mental health services in the first year of the pandemic.
“These estimates mask a significant shift in the U.S. healthcare system from face-to-face to virtual care,” the study’s authors wrote.. “This is the first study to show that the magnitude of this increase (approximately 16- to 20-fold increase in utilization) fully compensated for the decline in in-person care.”
50 million people in the United States are affected by mental illness. A significant number of people also developed mental health disorders in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, only about 50% of patients had access to mental health services.
Researchers analyzed the weekly use of mental health services by adults with commercial insurance from January 5, 2020 to December 21, 2020 to see how mental health services performed during the pandemic. I decided to figure out what was being used. The study authors examined mental health problems across her five diagnostic categories: major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In accordance with Enhanced Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guidelines, investigators assessed service utilization by examining the weekly medical claims of 5,142,577 adults with commercial insurance in all 50 states. Did. They also calculated demographic differences according to patient age group, gender, and mode of service delivery, comparing telemedicine or face-to-face.
Between March 14, 2020 and December 20, 2020, there was an 8% increase in the use of mental health services across all five diagnostic categories. Anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, and adjustment disorders ranked highest among the conditions treated, leading to an overall increase in care for mental health disorders.
Pre-pandemic, women were significantly more likely to use mental health services.In the first year, women still outnumbered men in using these services for anxiety disorders. But by the end of the year, he had increased his overall use of mental health services for anxiety disorders by 20%. An individual in a rural area and her adult over the age of 46 was one of those less likely to use telemedicine services.
This study had some limitations. Its first limitation is that it excludes individuals with public insurance. Second, we did not collect data on service usage until 2021 for individuals who had ongoing insurance coverage throughout the study period and were unaccounted for. Finally, researchers did not assess differences in quality of care between face-to-face and telemedicine services.
“Although service utilization for anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders has gradually increased throughout 2020, treatment gaps in care may still be large. It’s important to observe whether,” the study’s authors wrote.
McBain, Ryan, Kanter, Jonathan, Pera, Megan, et al. Mental health service utilization rates among US commercially insured adults in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Health Forum2023;4(1):e224936. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.4936.