Mental health services and the mortality of nursing home residents

Nicholas G. Castle, Dennis G. Shea

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Abstract

This article examines the impact of mental health services on the mortality rate for mentally ill nursing home residents. Previous research has documented the unmet need for mental health services among nursing home residents. Some research using small data sets has indicated patient benefits from treatment. This article examines the issue using data from the nationally representative National Nursing Home Survey. In a series of multivariate logistic regressions, treatment for mental illness provided by either general practice physicians or by mental health specialists appears to have few impacts on mortality. A statistically significant treatment effect is found only for residents with schizophrenia, other psychoses, or anxiety disorders when treated by mental health specialists. The results are discussed with reference to ongoing reforms for mental health care in nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-513
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 1997

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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