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The Association Between Socio-Economic Status and Inpatient Hospital Service Use for Depression

February 24, 2009

Although lower socio-economic status (SES) has been linked consistently with higher rates of mental illness, it has not always been associated with higher rates of mental health service use. In this Analysis in Brief the relationship between SES, as measured by neighbourhood income, and inpatient hospital mental health service use for depression was examined in persons age 15 to 64 in 13 cities across Canada. The results suggest an inverse relationship such that individuals from lower-SES neighbourhoods were more likely to be hospitalized for depression than those in higher-SES neighbourhoods. However, no relationship was observed between SES and hospital length of stay or hospital readmission rates, suggesting that differences in SES were not linked with differences in severity of illness or persistence of treatment.

This document was published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. View the full report here.

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