158741 Primary care clinician's perceived skills and knowledge in diagnosing and treating mental health problems in children and adolescents

Monday, November 5, 2007

Richard E. Adams, PhD , Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Danielle Laraque, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
The 1999 Surgeon General report on mental health in childhood and adolescence found that diagnosable mental health problems are being seen in nearly 21% of children and adolescents age 9-17. Primary care clinicians (PCC's) are in a position to address mental health issues, since children typically visit their PCC three times per year. However, a large percentage of PCC's report much uncertainty in their skills to identify and treat such children. The data presented here come from a baseline survey of 137 pediatricians who attended an all-day training session on children's mental health (attendees), and 78 controls who did not. We surveyed attendees prior to their session and collected data for both attendees and controls between November 2005, and June 2006. The sample was 64% White, 70% female, and 56% had been practicing medicine for 15 or fewer years. In a series of questions about perceived knowledge and skills to deal with mental health issues (rated on a scale of 1-10), 7% of our sample rated their knowledge an 8 or higher, while 10% rated their diagnostic skills, 5% rated their treatment skills, and 5% rated their knowledge of clinical strategies to address mental health issues that high or higher. Two-tailed t-tests revealed no statistical differences in the four scales by gender or years in practice. There were statistically significant differences by race, with Whites rating their treatment skills and knowledge of clinical strategies higher than non-Whites. PCC's could benefit from further training in diagnosing and treating mental health problems.

Learning Objectives:
Identify two barriers to high quality and appropriate care to children and adolescents with social and emotional problems

Keywords: Child/Adolescent Mental Health, Pediatrics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Mental Health Poster Session I
See more of: Mental Health