Help-seeking behaviors for serious psychological distress among individuals with diabetes mellitus: The California Health Interview Survey, 2011–2012

Published:August 01, 2016DOI:


      • This research utilized confidential data in the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
      • Perceived need is the strongest predictor of seeking help for mental health in this study.
      • Identification of factors affecting help-seeking behaviors may improve clinical outcomes.



      To investigate patterns of and factors associated with help-seeking behaviors among individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) and/or serious psychological distress (SPD).


      The analysis was conducted with the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) 2011–2012 of 40,803 adults. Logistic regression was used to examine the associations between the multiple facilitating/preventing factors and outcome, guided by the Andersen's Health Care Utilization Model.


      The prevalence of DM and SPD were 10.9% and 3.4%, respectively, among participants in the survey. The participants with DM were more likely to experience SPD than those without DM (OR 1.46, 95% CI = 1.11–1.91, p = 0.006). Participants with combined DM and SPD, the most underserved, were less likely to perceive the need for mental health services and less likely to seek help, compared to those with only SPD. Need factors (SPD status and perceived need) were significantly associated with help-seeking behaviors for mental health, along with predisposing factors (age, gender, obesity, race, and employment), and enabling factors (insurance, English proficiency).


      Perceptions about need for seeking help seem to play an important role in receiving mental health services in addition to other predisposing or enabling factors. Identification of these factors may improve clinical outcomes related to DM and SPD.


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