An important resource for mental health patients is their nearest hospital, and this is especially true in rural regions where outpatient mental health services may be lacking. In the United States, policies are in place which limit the ability of small, rural hospitals to provide inpatient psychiatric services cost effectively, leading many hospitals to forgo offering the services at all. This project compares the situation in the United States with that of Canada—where similar policies are not present under a vastly different healthcare system—to see if inpatient psychiatric services are more or less prevalent in rural Canadian hospitals and whether this is associated with different mental health outcomes.
To study this relationship, Maine and New Brunswick are used as a case study due to their close comparability in terms of demographic, socio-economic and geographic characteristics. This project focuses on rural hospitals in Maine and New Brunswick, the provision of inpatient psychiatric services therein, and mental health outcomes in the surrounding regions. The results of this project may help policy makers and healthcare administrators looking to better understand the implications of policies on the provision of rural inpatient psychiatric services, in addition to providing a base for future research on this topic.
Gayton, Dominic, "Inpatient Mental Health Services in Rural Hospitals of the United States and Canada: A Case Study of Maine and New Brunswick" (2019). Honors College. 523.