International Journal on Disability and Human Development
Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel
Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav
Editorial Board Member: Brooks, Tony / Carmeli, BPT, Eliezer / Caron, MPH, Rosemary M. / Davidson, Philip W / Galil, Ahron / Heller, Tamar / Huff, Marlene B. / Janicki, Matthew P. / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Lindström, Bengt / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / Postolache, Teodor T. / Prasher, Vee / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Stratakis, Constantine A
4 Issues per year
CiteScore 2016: 0.25
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.179
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.234
Health service utilization in patients with major depressive disorder experiencing significant somatic symptoms in Korea
Background: This study investigated the patterns of health service utilization among patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and significant somatic symptoms, who visited psychiatrists in a tertiary care setting.
Methods: A total of 211 patients (51 males and 160 females) were recruited from a convenience sampling and assessed for severity of depressive and somatic symptoms. A structured questionnaire was employed to assess their pattern of healthcare service utilization, specifically, type of treatment first sought, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and time from onset of depressive symptoms to first treatment.
Results: MDD patients with significant somatic symptoms tended to visit a non-psychiatrist physician first. Those with milder somatic symptoms who first visited non-physician practitioners spent a significantly greater amount on out-of-pocket medical expenses than did those who first visited physicians to get treatment. The patients with chief complaints of psychological and emotional symptoms were more likely to visit a psychiatrist first; however, a longer time interval lapsed before these patients received treatment.
Conclusions: Patients with MDD experiencing significant symptoms are unlikely to access appropriate services in a timely manner. The results have implications for improving health care delivery for this population.
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