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Monograph and summary focusing on children's mental health issues now available from AHRQ

A monograph and a reprint of an issue brief on children's mental health issues are now available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These two publications provide a wealth of information about children's mental health issues, particularly where the field stands today and where it needs to go over the next few years. These materials stem from a project that was supported in part by AHRQ (HS09813), the Children's Mental Health Alliance Project, and led by Annie G. Steinberg, M.D., of the Center for Children's Policy, Practice, and Research at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Seashore House, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The alliance also received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The monograph was produced by the Alliance, which was established as an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort to:

  1. Review an evidence-based, best-practices approach to the primary care/specialty care relationship as it pertains to child mental health.
  2. Address underrecognition of the mental health problems that affect children and adolescents and the poor outcomes that often occur.
  3. Clarify professional responsibilities across systems of care to avoid duplication, address shortages, and define health services research priorities.

The monograph addresses these topics and includes input from a number of participants in a multidisciplinary consensus conference, "Mental Health Services Delivery in Primary and Specialty Care Settings," which was held in November 1998. Implications for action are also presented, as well as a series of recommendations for children"s mental health services research topics spanning the next 5 years.

Copies of the monograph, Children's Mental Health: The Changing Interface Between Primary and Specialty Care, (AHRQ Publication No. 00-R040) are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

The reprint is an issue brief published by the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and written by Dr. Steinberg and coauthors Anne Gadomski, M.D., M.P.H., of the Bassett Research Institute, and Michele D. Wilson, M.D., of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It briefly summarizes, in bullet form, much of the information presented in the monograph described above, including the following topics:

  • Changes in children's mental health services over the past decade.
  • Increases in psychotropic drug use in children.
  • Effects of managed care on the delivery of mental health services to children.
  • Resources needed by primary care providers to identify and address children's mental health needs.
  • A promising system of care model.
  • A children's mental health research agenda.
  • Policy implications associated with meeting the need for mental health services among children.

Copies of the reprint, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Issue Brief—Children's Mental Health: Recommendations for Research, Practice, and Policy (AHRQ Publication No. 00-R042) are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

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