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Determinants of ambulatory treatment mode for mental illness


  • Marc P. Freiman

    (Abt Associates Inc., Washington, DC, USA)

  • Samuel H. Zuvekas

    (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD, USA)


We estimate a reduced-form bivariate probit model to analyse jointly the choice of ambulatory treatment from the specialty mental health sector and|or the use of psychotropic drugs for a nationally representative sample of US household residents. We find significant differences in treatment choice by education, gender, race and ethnicity, while controlling for several aspects of self-reported mental health and treatment attitudes. For example, while women are more likely than men to use the specialty mental health sector and more likely to take psychotropic medications, this difference between men and women is much greater for psychotropic medications. The estimated differences may reflect patient preferences in a manner traditionally assumed when interpreting these coefficients in such equations, but we discuss how they may also reflect biases and misperceptions on the parts of patients and providers. We also discuss how our results relate to some findings and policies in the general health care sector. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc P. Freiman & Samuel H. Zuvekas, 2000. "Determinants of ambulatory treatment mode for mental illness," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(5), pages 423-434.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:9:y:2000:i:5:p:423-434
    DOI: 10.1002/1099-1050(200007)9:5<423::AID-HEC526>3.0.CO;2-X

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keane, Michael P, 1992. "A Note on Identification in the Multinomial Probit Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(2), pages 193-200, April.
    2. Labelle, Roberta & Stoddart, Greg & Rice, Thomas, 1994. "A re-examination of the meaning and importance of supplier-induced demand," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 347-368, October.
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