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Israel Journal of Psychiatry


Background: Community-based studies have documented gender differences in mental health problems and service utilization. This mixed methods study explored gender differences in severity of emotional distress, referral paths, presenting problems and care expectations among service users upon accessing outpatient psychiatric care. Methods: Consecutive service users (N=284, 64% women) who presented for a new or repeated episode of care in adult outpatient clinics completed questionnaires on a measure of emotional distress, treatment history and referral path. These variables were quantitatively analyzed. Also, users completed two open-ended questionnaires on reasons for seeking care and expectations from the services. These variables were qualitatively analyzed using thematic analyses. Results: No significant gender differences emerged on any of the variables examined among new and repeated users. The main reasons for seeking care were psychiatric symptoms as well as non-specific psychopathology. The most frequent expectations from the services were receiving psychotherapy and specific tools to better manage life problems. Limitations: The sample of new male service users was relatively small. Conclusions: Once care is initiated, men and women showed similar clinical presentation and care expectations.





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