Scratching the Surface of Psychiatric Services Distribution and Public Health: an Indiana Assessment

Steven Moberly, Hannah Maxey, Lacy Foy, Sierra X. Vaughn, Yumin Wang, David Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Mental illness is a leading cause of disability with many public health implications. Previous studies have demonstrated a national shortage of psychiatrists, particularly in rural areas. An analysis of how this workforce distribution relates to population demographics and public/behavioral health is lacking in the literature. This study encompassed a statewide assessment of the Indiana psychiatric workforce as it relates to population characteristics and public/behavioral health. This study’s findings demonstrate a profoundly low psychiatry workforce in rural counties of Indiana. The low psychiatry workforce capacity in rural counties is so disparate that the demographic and public/behavioral health characteristics differ from the State averages in the same manner as counties without a psychiatrist at all. The psychiatric workforce distribution did not differ significantly on the basis of poverty prevalence. The potential utility of indicators of population health was also evaluated and revealed that social factors such as poverty and Medicaid prevalence may be superior to more traditional measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-282
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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