To identify the demographic predictors of lack of current mental health (MH) treatment among university students with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD).
Adult university students with a self-identified diagnosis of an SSD (schizophreniform, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder) were identified from the 2019–2020 Healthy Minds Study survey. In this study, pertinent demographic factors included age, race/ethnicity, sex assigned at birth, gender identity, sexual orientation, parental education, financial stress, and employment. Multivariable modelling was used to investigate the demographic predictors of lack of current psychotherapy treatment, no current antipsychotic use, and lack of any MH treatment (defined as concurrent lack of psychotherapy and antipsychotic treatment).
Of the 135 included students with a SSD, the median age was 23 years old and 79 (58.5%) were assigned female at birth. Fifty-five participants (40.7%) lacked any current MH treatment. In fully adjusted models, lack of current MH treatment was associated with working more than 20 h per week (OR 2.9 [1.2–7.1], p = 0.02). No current antipsychotic use was associated with Hispanic/Latino race/ethnicity (OR 4.2 (1.2–14.5), p = 0.04). Lack of current psychotherapy treatment was associated with cisgender male identity (OR 5.5 [2.0–15.2], p < 0.01), working greater than 20 hours per week (OR 6.5 [2.2–19.2], p < 0.01), and having one or more structural or attitudinal barriers to care (OR = 4.6 [1.5–13.9], p < 0.01).
The demographic predictors of lack of current MH treatment varied between psychotherapy and antipsychotic use, suggesting university health centres should consider interventions targeting several at-risk populations to increase treatment use among students with a SSD.