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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Healthcare arrow More Than a Quarter of All Adults Have Received Mental Health Treatment Over Two-Year Period
More Than a Quarter of All Adults Have Received Mental Health Treatment Over Two-Year Period PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harris Interactive   
20 Mar 2005
Large majorities of those who were treated with therapy and with medication satisfied with their care

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – March 21, 2005
– A national survey of the general adult population and of adults who have needed or received some form of mental health treatment find that more than a quarter (27%) of all adults have received some form of mental health treatment over a two-year period.

Among those patients who have received treatment in the past two years:

  • Approximately one-third (34%) received both therapy and drugs.
  • Approximately half (47%) of patients used prescription drugs but did not receive therapy.
  • Approximately one-fifth (19%) of patients received therapy but did not use prescription drugs.

A modest majority of those who received treatment were extremely (15%) or very (39%) satisfied with their care, with a much larger share (85%) at least somewhat satisfied. There was little difference in levels of satisfaction among patients who received drugs and therapy, therapy only, or drugs only.

These are some of the findings from research conducted both online and by telephone by Harris Interactive? for PacifiCare Behavioral Health and Psychology Today.

Respondents are classified as having "needed treatment" if they:

  • Meet criteria for need as determined by the Life Status Questionnaire (LSQ), a clinically validated instrument used by PacifiCare Behavioral Health* OR
  • Feel that they have needed treatment AND have talked to a primary care doctor about personal, emotional, or mental health problems.

Respondents are classified as having "received treatment" if they:

  • Have seen a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or marital and family therapist OR
  • Have taken a prescription medication for a personal, emotional, or mental health problem.

Based on these definitions, the research found that:

  • Almost one-third of adults (30%) needed mental health treatment over a two-year period.
  • Just over a quarter of adults (27%) received mental health treatment over the two-year period.

However, not all of the people who received treatment needed it (using our definition of need), and not everyone who needed treatment received it. Specifically,

Of the 30 percent who needed mental health treatment, almost two-thirds (63% or 19% of all adults) received it and more than one-third (37% or 11% of all adults) did not.
Of the 70 percent who did not need mental health treatment, more than one out of 10 (11% or 8% of all adults) received it anyway.
A downloadable PDF of the Harris Interactive Health Care News can be found at:

To obtain a copy of complete survey results, please contact 1-877-919-4765 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Harris Interactive? conducted online and telephone surveys in the U.S. between February 16 and March 5, 2004. The telephone study was conducted among a nationwide cross section of 500 adults aged 18 and over. The online survey was conducted among 1,730 adults who have needed and/or received treatment for a mental health problem within the past two years. For both surveys, figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income and region were weighted where necessary to align with population proportions. For the telephone survey, data were also weighted for the number of voice/telephone lines in the household. For the online survey, propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results from the telephone survey have a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points and sampling error for the online survey results is plus or minus 2 percentage points. Sampling error for sub-sample results is higher and varies. Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. They include refusals to be interviewed (nonresponse), question wording and question order, interviewer bias, weighting by demographic control data and screening (e.g., for likely voters). It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors. The online sample was not a probability sample.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

About Harris Interactive?

Harris Interactive Inc. (, the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll? and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.

Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (, Paris-based Novatris (, Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V.

To become a member of the Harris Poll OnlineSM and be invited to participate in future online surveys, visit
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