Neighbourhood deprivation and healthcare service use for mood and anxiety disorders in a semi-rural population

Neeru Gupta, University of New Brunswick
Dan Crouse, Health Effects Institute
Ismael Foroughi, University of New Brunswick

A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that selected features of neighbourhood environments are related to higher morbidity and healthcare utilization. However, studies examining geospatial correlates tend to focus on physical health outcomes, large urban contexts, or specific patient groups. This research assesses the relationships between neighbourhood characteristics with mental health outcomes in a general, semi-rural population. Located in eastern Canada, the province of New Brunswick is significantly more rural (51%) than the national average (19%). We used provincial administrative health datasets linked to geocoded data on different dimensions of neighbourhood marginalization. Given Canada’s universal coverage system, the administrative data capture all medical and hospital services. Among the New Brunswick population aged 1 or over, 10.7% had experienced a mood or anxiety disorder entailing the use of healthcare services. Multiple logistic regressions revealed that – after adjusting for age, sex, and rurality – the odds of mental health service contacts were significantly higher in neighbourhoods of higher material deprivation, residential instability, and ethnic concentration. The odds were lower in neighbourhoods of higher population dependency. This study shows that neighbourhood characteristics may influence mental health service use, but the nature of the relationships differs from those typically related to physical health.

Keywords: Health and morbidity, Neighbourhood/contextual effect analysis, Linked data sets, Geo-referenced/geo-coded data

See paper.

  Presented in Session P19.