Need and unmet need for mental health care among elderly public housing residents

Betty Smith Black, Peter V. Rabins, Pearl German, Marsden McGuire, Robert Roca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Epidemiologic survey data from elderly residents of six public housing developments were used to determine the prevalence of need and unmet need for mental health care. Thirty-seven percent of this predominantly African American sample needed mental health services, and 58% of those who needed care had unmet needs. Logistic regression analyses showed that males, older residents, those with no Medicare insurance, and those with more Activities of Daily Living (ADL) impairments were at greater risk of both needing mental health care and receiving no mental health care services. Findings suggest the need for targeted interventions that would increase service utilization and potentially reduce the likelihood of eviction or placement in more restrictive settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-728
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


  • African Americans
  • Health services utilization
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Psychological distress
  • Self-rated mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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