Objective: To determine (1) how child age relates to parent concerns about child behavior and (2) how child age and parent concerns correlate with provider referrals and family attendance at mental health consultant (MHC) appointments. Methods: Data were obtained from Rhode Island's Project, Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health, in which universal developmental and behavioral screening and MHCs were embedded within primary care sites serving low-income diverse families. Children 9 months to 8 years of age were eligible for the study if they had a scheduled screening well-child visit in 2010 (N = 1451). Families completing screening and/or those referred for a MHC appointment were included in analyses (n = 700). Outcome measures included parent-reported concerns about child behavior, referral status following screening, and family attendance at the MHC appointment. Results: For every 1-month increase in child age, there was a 1.02 times increase in the likelihood of parent behavioral concern and a 1.04 times increase in the likelihood of mental health referral, even when controlling for child behavior. MHC-referred children older than 5 years were 2.61 times more likely to attend than children less than 5 years. When examining parent behavioral concerns and child age jointly, only concerns remained significant. Conclusions: Infants and toddlers, who have the highest rates of unmet mental health needs, may be least likely to benefit from universal screening and on-site MHC support. Efforts to incorporate behaviorally based screening tools and increase parent concerns where appropriate appear warranted, particularly for families with very young children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goals were to examine factors related to positive Pediatric Symptom Checklist scores in an urban practice and to examine the relative contribution of parental/personal concern about emotional and behavioral problems to mental health problem identification.
Annual screening using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist was implemented in Cambridge Pediatrics (Cambridge, MA). A social worker was colocated in the clinic to provide therapeutic interventions for patients. A sample of 1668 screened patients between 4 years 11 months and 19 years of age was used for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine factors predictive of positive Pediatric Symptom Checklist scores, including demographics, socioeconomic indicators, enrollment in counseling, and parental/personal concern. Parental/personal concern, counseling, and positive Pediatric Symptom Checklist scores were examined to determine their efficacy as screening methods.
Six percent of the population had positive Pediatric Symptom Checklist scores. There were statistically significant relationships between a positive score and being in counseling, parental/personal concern, having public insurance, and living in an area with median household incomes of less than 50,000 dollars. Parental/personal concern was 40% sensitive for a positive score. A positive Pediatric Symptom Checklist score with or without parental/personal concern identified 3.8% of the population; parental/personal concern with or without a positive Pediatric Symptom Checklist score identified 4.5%.
Mental health screening can be effectively implemented in a pediatric practice. Colocated mental health professionals provide additional support. The combination of a screening tool and questions about parental/personal concern and present counseling can provide critical information about a child's mental health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goals were to investigate parents' and early intervention (EI) specialists' beliefs and experiences regarding discussing child development in primary care and to identify communication barriers and opportunities.
Focus groups were held with (1) mothers of young children with typical development, (2) mothers of young children who received EI services, and (3) EI specialists. Seven groups (N = 46 participants) were conducted in the greater Cleveland, Ohio, area. Meetings were audio-recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed, to identify themes.
Most mothers reported a preference for a nonalarmist style of communication when developmental delays are suspected. In contrast, some mothers preferred a more direct style, including the use of labels to help them understand their child's development. The importance of preparation to accept information about developmental delays emerged as a theme in all groups. Elements contributing to preparedness included information about expected developmental skills, suggestions for promoting skills, and a specific time frame for follow-up evaluation. Mothers of children with disabilities perceived that early reassurance of normalcy by providers in response to their concerns led to self-doubt and increased difficulty accepting the diagnosis.
Mothers and EI specialists have clear ideas about factors that promote or impede communication regarding child development. This information can inform primary care providers' approaches to monitoring and screening the development of young children and to communicating with parents regarding suspected developmental delays.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examines pathways to urban child mental health care as well as explores reasons why care was not received.
A single group longitudinal design was used to study initial attendance rates at an outpatient child mental health clinic and identify factors associated with initial service use for urban children and their families.
Approximately one-third of families (n = 82) do not follow up with care despite their child being referred and an initial appointment scheduled. Yet, three-quarters of those who did not attend a first session still wanted services when interviewed. Factors most significantly related to service use were social support and parental skill efficacy. Miscommunication between adult caregiver and provider was the most often cited reason for non-attendance.
There is a significant unmet need for care along with identification of significant barriers to access. Empirical findings can serve as the basis for modifying urban child mental health service delivery systems.
Community Mental Health Journal 05/2004; 40(2):119-31. DOI:10.1023/B:COMH.0000022732.80714.8b · 1.03 Impact Factor
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