Rural and Remote Health Journal photo
African section Asian section Australasian section European section International section Latin American section
home
login/register
current articles
contribute
information for authors
status/user profile
links/forums
about us

Original Research

Nebraska’s rural behavioral healthcare workforce distribution and relationship between supply and county characteristics

Submitted: 1 July 2015
Revised: 21 January 2016
Accepted: 24 February 2016
Published: 7 April 2016

Full text: You can view the full article, or view a printable version.
Comments: (login to access the comments on this article)

Author(s) : Nguyen AT, Trout KE, Chen L, Madison L, Watkins KL, Watanabe-Galloway S.

Citation: Nguyen AT, Trout KE, Chen L, Madison L, Watkins KL, Watanabe-Galloway S.  Nebraska’s rural behavioral healthcare workforce distribution and relationship between supply and county characteristics. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2016; 16: 3645. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=3645 (Accessed 19 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Specific attention is needed to improve mental health outcomes in rural communities. Rural communities continue to have higher unmet mental health needs than their urban counterparts. Quantifying workforce supply and shortages can aid in identifying areas in need of the recruitment, training, licensure, and retention of behavioral health professionals. However, workforce analyses have presented a challenge as comprehensive workforce data are limited. This study examines the geographic distribution of behavioral healthcare professionals and the relationship between supply and county characteristics in Nebraska in 2012.
Methods:  Practice location data for behavioral healthcare professionals were obtained from the 2012 University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Health Profession Tracking Service Survey. Behavioral healthcare professionals included were psychiatric prescribers, independent behavioral professionals, mental health practitioners, and addiction counselors. The rural and urban distribution of professionals was examined using descriptive statistics. The relationships between county-level provider-to-population ratios and county characteristics were examined using multivariate Poisson regression analyses.
Results:  In 2012, there were 2468 behavioral health professionals actively practicing in Nebraska. The majority (71.2%) of all behavioral professionals in Nebraska were actively practicing in metropolitan areas as compared to 27.3% in rural and 1.5% in frontier areas. For all categories of professions, excluding physician assistants, Nebraska’s urban areas had the highest ratios of provider to 100 000 population as compared to rural and frontier areas in Nebraska. The total supply of behavioral health professionals was positively associated with metropolitan areas and the percentage of populations in poverty. The total supply of behavioral health professionals was negatively associated with the percentage of children under 18 years of age and the percentage of elderly aged 65 years or older.
Conclusions:  Rural counties and areas with high proportions of children and aging populations in Nebraska face significant challenges in recruiting and retaining behavioral healthcare professionals. The findings from this study have implications for quantifying the need and demand for behavioral healthcare professionals in workforce planning and policy analysis.

Key words: behavioral health, mental health, needs assessment, rural, surveillance, USA, workforce.

This abstract has been viewed 1770 times since 7-Apr-2016.

   
 

   CONTACT US | COPYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER | ADMIN ONLY