217411 School Based Health Centers' Role in Addressing High School Dropout

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eileen O'Keefe, MD, MPH , Department of Health Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
Nancy Carpenter, MPH , MA Coalition of School-Based Health Centers, Boston
Antonia Blinn, BS , MA Coalition of School-Based Health Centers, Boston
Steven R. Machlin, MS , Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD
Serena Arancibia, MPH , Department of Health Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
Jonathan Anzmann, BS , Department of Health Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
Deborah Greenstein, BS , Department of Health Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
Objective: To assess School Based Health Centers' role in addressing health risks associated with high school dropout. Background: Nationally, high school dropout rates exceed 9%. Mental health conditions and reproductive health, particularly teen pregnancy, have been identified as health conditions that correlate most strongly with risk of school dropout. School based health centers (SBHCs) offer a broad range of services, including mental health and reproductive health services. Methods: Massachusetts data was extracted from 2004-2005 National School-Based Health Care Census. Analysis of census data from 54 School Based Health Centers examined the scope, type and utilization, of health services provided. Data analysis was conducted in SPSS 15.0. Results: SBHCs services include treatment of acute illnesses (100%), immunizations (83%), laboratory tests (96%), medication dispensed or prescriptions (94%), reproductive health services including male condoms (100%), contraceptive pills prescribed or off-site referral (72%), pregnancy testing (74%), mental health assessment (69%), mental health diagnosis (61%), mental health case management (50%), and substance abuse counseling (52%). Results indicate high utilization rates for SBHCs mental health services, an identified health risk factor associated with school dropout. Conclusions: Teen pregnancy and mental health issues have been identified as major factors impacting school dropout. SBHCs offer a well positioned system to address these health risk factors. Mental health services, when available, exhibit high utilization rates. Further research is needed to define specific health services utilization patterns and, through collaboration with state departments of education, to link school drop out with specific school based health services.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify scope of health services offered by school based health centers 2. Identify overlap of health services with health areas linked to school dropout 3. Evaluate role for school based health centers in addressing health risks associated with school dropout

Keywords: School-Based Health Care, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research in collaboration with Massachusetts Coalition for School Based Health Centers, and have a background as a pediatrician
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.