Mental Health Screening Outcomes in a Pediatric Specialty Care Setting

Eyal Shemesh, Brianna J. Lewis, Melissa Rubes, Michael A. Ambrose, Meghan K. Cahill, Christopher Knight, Scott H. Sicherer, Rachel A. Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To evaluate whether a psychosocial screening program that included free and flexible access to mental health (MH) consultation resulted in increased rate of consultations. Study design This is a post hoc review of a clinical screening program in a pediatric food allergy clinic in New York City. Screening was limited to 2 days per week, providing an opportunity to compare screened and nonscreened cohorts. Previous results from more than 1000 other families were analyzed to create the 1-page screening questionnaire. Participants were children with allergies and their parents who sought care at the clinic between March and September 2013. Parents were screened for distress and quality of life burden related to their child's allergy, and children were screened for anxiety, bullying, and quality of life. The predefined primary outcome was the percentage of families who received the free MH consultation after screening vs no-screening days in the allergy clinic. Results The 3143 encounters during the study period included 1171 on screening days and 1972 on no-screening days. Most (86%) eligible families completed the screen. Almost one-half (44%) met the initial screening thresholds. A total of 71 families (6.1% of screening days encounters) were referred to a MH consultation after a secondary review, but only 11 (1% of screening days encounters) scheduled a MH appointment. Eighteen families from the no-screening days came to a MH evaluation (1% of no-screening days encounters). Conclusion Screening did not lead to enhanced MH follow-up. Resources may be better used on ensuring the availability of MH care rather than on screening in pediatric specialty clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-197.e3
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume168
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

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