Gaps In Mental Healthcare Use And Perceived Quality Between Privately Insured Lgb And Heterosexual Individuals In The United States

Yuki Hayashi

This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 08/28/2021


Previous research has identified significantly heightened levels of mental health issues and psychological distress among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals in the U.S., as well as greater mental health service utilization among this population. Using a nationally representative sample of privately insured adults in the U.S., we investigate differences in mental healthcare utilization, characteristics of mental healthcare received, and perceived quality of care between LGB and heterosexual individuals. Key results find that privately insured LGB men and women are significantly more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have used outpatient mental healthcare as well as out-of-network (OON) outpatient mental healthcare in the past year. This study also identifies key gender differences in characteristics of mental healthcare use and perceived quality of care among LGB mental healthcare users. LGB women are significantly more likely than Straight women to have a higher mental health condition severity, used overnight inpatient mental healthcare in the past year, and give a low provider rating for their mental healthcare provider. In contrast, LGB men are significantly more likely than Straight men to have seen 3 or more mental healthcare providers in the past year, but are significantly less likely to indicate that their mental healthcare provider does not spend enough time with them, or give a low provider rating. These findings address a gap in literature on perceived quality of mental healthcare among LGB adults in the U.S., and call particular attention to the need to improve the perceived quality of care for LGB women.