Health, Health Behaviors, and Health Care Utilization Among Adults with Serious Psychological Distress Who Receive Federal Housing Assistance.J Behav Health Serv Res. 2019 10; 46(4):586-606.JB
Using newly available U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administrative data linked with National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data, this study estimates the prevalence of serious psychological distress (SPD) among non-elderly HUD-assisted adults and examines differences in health, health behaviors, and health care utilization for this population. The linked data estimate that 13% of HUD-assisted adults experience SPD. Controlling for individual characteristics and HUD program type, assisted housing residents who had SPD experienced higher rates of self-reported fair or poor health, chronic disease, and cigarette smoking than HUD-assisted adults without SPD. Adults with SPD had more frequent use of emergency rooms and were more likely than residents without SPD to have more frequent contact with specialists, general doctors, and mental health providers, although they also reported increased levels of unmet health care needs due to affordability. Policy implications are discussed.