Psychiatric disorder and unmet service needs among welfare clients in a representative payee program

Jovier D. Evans, Dustin Eric Wright, Soren Svanum, Gary R. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study assessed psychiatric problems, needs for psychiatric and social services, and service utilization among clients of a public assistance program. Sixty-five clients were assessed using a structured clinical interview to determine the presence of a psychiatric disorder (using the CIDI-A), extent of social service need, and health-related quality of life (RAND SF-36). Seventy-seven percent of the sample met criteria for at least one current or lifetime psychiatric disorder. Health-related quality of life was substantially below published norms. Most clients reported needing financial, housing, and vocational assistance. Many had contact with mental health services, but few were actually receiving psychiatric treatment. Although many clients were assessed as having serious psychiatric, physical, or social needs, very few were receiving appropriate services for these problems. Findings suggest problems or barriers to the provision of services that need to be investigated among this vulnerable community population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-548
Number of pages10
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • community mental health
  • psychiatric comorbidity
  • unmet need

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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