Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Despite the existence of effective treatments, mental health care disparities exist in the availability, accessibility, and quality of services for racial and ethnic minority groups. People living with serious mental complaints often resist engaging in treatments and experience high rates of dropout; poor engagement can lead to worse clinical outcomes. Addressing the complex mental health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities warrants considering evidence-based strategies to help reduce disparities. This systematic review sought to provide an analysis of published literature about the barriers and effective strategies in identifying and treating minority patients with mental health disorders. The practice-focused question of this systematic review was: What are the barriers and effective strategies to identification and treatment of mental health disorders among minority populations. This project was guided by PRISMA and SQUIRE guidelines and Fineout-Overholt and Melnyk’s appraisal form, comprising 11 studies published between 2014 and 2019, identified through Thoreau, Cochrane, CINAHL with Medline, EBSCO, and ProQuest, SAMHSA and PubMed databases. The systematic review results recommend intervention strategies such as integrated/collaborative care, workforce diversity, providers in minority neighborhoods, improving providers’ cultural skills, and stigma reduction to help reduce mental health care disparities. These findings are significant to lowering the gap in practice and can be used by the entire health care system to improve mental health care, thereby leading to a positive social change. Implementing these strategies would benefit patients, families, their communities, and the entire health care delivery system.