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Availability of mental health services for older adults: A cross-cultural comparison of the United States and Turkey

2005-05-01
Sivis, R
McCrae, CS
Demir, Ayhan Gürbüz
Researchers conducted a cross-cultural study using qualitative methods (based on a phenomenological approach) to explore the availability of mental health services (MHS) for older adults in the United States and Turkey. Using purposive sampling, semi-structured in-depth inter-views were conducted with administrators (n = 24) from a wide-range of sites (nursing homes, hospice, senior centers) in a rural area of North Central Florida, United States and Ankara, Turkey. Interview questions focused on types of staff employed; integration of MHS with other services provided; community promotion of services; coordination, cooperation and communication with other service providers; and administrators' perceptions of barriers in the provision of MHS for older adults. Interestingly, employing on-site mental health staff was a much more popular practice in Turkey compared to the United States with three times as many Turkish sites having on-site mental health professionals. As anticipated, administrators in both countries cited inadequate funding as the most common barrier to MHS provision. Potential solutions to MHS barriers in both countries are discussed.