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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4276.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - Board 6

Abstract #111659

Unmet Mental Health Care Needs of Children with Special Health Care Needs and Their Parents

Michael L. Ganz, MS, PhD and Shalini A. Tendulkar, ScM. Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge 615, Boston, MA 02115, 617-432-2383, mganz@hsph.harvard.edu

About one-third of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) have some type of emotional, behavioral, or developmental disability (EBD), but all CSHCN may require mental health services to address an underlying EBD or issues related to their physical conditions. Family members might also require mental health services for concerns related to a child's CSHCN status. Supporting CSHCN and their families requires addressing all health care needs, including EBD needs. Using the 2000-02 National Survey of CSHCN we estimate the prevalence of unmet mental health care needs among CSHCN (<18 year's old) and their families. Approximately 25% of CSHCN in the United States and 13% of their family members for mental health care needs (18% of CSHCN and 21% of their families reported unmet needs). Overall 4.6% of CSHCN and 2.8% of family members reported unmet mental health care needs. After simultaneously adjusting for child health and demographic factors, we find that metropolitan area residence, non-Hispanic, older age, lower income, SCHIP-enrolled or uninsured (vs. private), mildly severe to severe condition, having an EBD disability lasting > 12 months, not having a usual source of care (or a site other than a physician's office), and other family members' unmet mental health needs are independently statistically significantly associated with child's unmet mental health care needs. We also find that the following child characteristics are significantly associated with other family members' unmet mental health care needs: mildly severe to severe ranking of condition, EBD disability lasting > 12 months, and unmet need.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA