Date of Conferral



Doctor of Healthcare Administration (D.H.A.)


Health Services


Rabeh R. Hijazi


Increased depression and anxiety diagnoses are a result of the lack of use or underuse of outpatient mental health services, specifically among African Americans, youths, and the homeless, and this is a current issue in New Orleans, Louisiana post-Hurricane Katrina. Funding constraints due to the termination of the Louisiana Spirit Program contributed to deficits in terms of outpatient mental health facilities in New Orleans. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the association between the continuum and utilization of outpatient mental health services for African Americans, youth, and the homeless for those diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Andersen’s behavioral model of healthcare use and Atkinson’s sociocognitive theory were used to identify determinants of healthcare service use among people diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The quantitative study of 1043 cases, utilizing a correlational research design, analyzed data from the Data Center and the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group using cross tabulations with chi-square and multiple logistic regression. The data analysis found statistically significant associations between outpatient mental health services and age and anxiety and race, specifically non-hispanic blacks. Associations were not found between anxiety and homelessness, age, and outpatient mental health services. Additionally, associations were not found between outpatient mental health services and, race and homelessness. The study contributes to positive social change by validating Andersen’s behavioral model for health care use and Atkinson’s socio-cognitive theory as a means for health care administrators to allocate funding for outpatient mental health facilities in New Orleans.