OBJECTIVE: Individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse problems experience disparities in health care utilization. While previous studies have focused on individual and social determinants of health care use in these populations, few have investigated the role of residential stability, especially in relation to different types of service use (i.e., inpatient vs. outpatient treatment). The present study examined the relationship between residential mobility, defined as the number of residential relocations in the past year, and past-year use of four types of behavioral services (i.e., inpatient and outpatient mental health services, inpatient and outpatient substance abuse services) among a national sample of adults with mental health and/or substance abuse problems.
METHODS: Data were drawn from the 2011-2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (unweighted N = 43,411). Based on prior literature and theory, we hypothesized that individuals who frequently relocate are more likely to use inpatient services and are less likely to use outpatient services. Logistic regression analyses were conducted and all models controlled for predisposing, need, and enabling factors.
RESULTS: Compared to individuals who did not move in the past year, those who moved three or more times were more likely to report using inpatient mental health and substance abuse services. The relationship between residential mobility and outpatient mental health and substance use service use is not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the importance of understanding housing stability as a predictor factor of service use and access. Future research is needed to shed light on the pathway through which residential mobility affects behavioral health service utilization.
The relationship between residential mobility and behavioral health service use in a national sample of adults with mental health and/or substance abuse problems
Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 14 (4), 201-210. doi: 10.1080/15504263.2018.1493557.