5054.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #14958

Special Needs Children with Behavioral and Mental Health Problems: Results from a National Survey

Marty Wyngaarden Krauss, PhD, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University, MS 035, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02454, 781-736-3832, Krauss@Brandeis.Edu and Nora Wells, Family Voices, Federation for Children with Special Needs, 1135 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 01210.

This paper presents results from the Family Partners Project, a national survey of the health care experiences of families of children with special health care needs conducted in 1998-99. Of the 2,220 children in the survey, a third had either a mental health condition (7%), autism (9%), or a behavioral problem (17%) (excluding those with a MH condition or autism). Analyses were conducted on service utilization patterns, problems experienced in obtaining needed services, payment sources for services, and parental satisfaction with the child's health plan. Children with MH conditions, behavior problems or autism were rated as being in poorer health and having more unstable heatlh than children without these conditions. Three-quarters of the children with MH conditions, a third of those with autism, and slightly more than a quarter of those with behavior problems received mental health services (compared to 8% of the rest of the sample). Over half of those receiving services reported problems in accessing providers with appropriate skills and experience, getting referrals and then appointments for specialty care, and having mental health services coordinated with other services. Parents of children with MH needs were significantly more dissatisfied with the child's main health plan than parents of other special needs children. Parents of children with autism were the most dissatisfied, with over a quarter dissatisfied with the child's health plan and over a third would not recommend their child's plan to others.

Learning Objectives: articulate special barriers to health care for children with mental health concerns evaluate the desirability of specialized carve out programs for children with MH concerns assess reasons for parental dissatisfaction with health plans

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Brandeis University conducted the research in collaboration with Family Voices, a national advocacy organizations
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA