249422 Does one-day educational training improve the quality of mental healthcare pediatricians' provide to children in their practices? The Reaching Children Initiative (RCI)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Richard E. Adams, PhD , Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Danielle Laraque, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Maimonides Infant and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
Objective: The 1999 Surgeon General report on mental health found that diagnosable mental health problems are seen in nearly 21% of children and adolescents age 9-17. Primary care physicians (PCP's) can address these mental health issues, but report much uncertainty in their skills to identify and treat such children. Methods: Between November 2005, and June 2006 137 pediatricians attended an all-day training session on children's mental health. We surveyed attendees prior to their session, immediately after, and 1- and 6-months later. Measures: Outcomes of interest were implementing practice changes, use of formal screeners for mental health problems, and use of mental health medications. Results: At 6-months, 64% of the primary care clinicians reported instituting practice changes recommended during training. Reported use of formal mental health screening instruments increased from baseline to 6-months for attention problems (50% to 64%) and for depression (17% to 33%). Greater use of medications for treating mental health problems was more limited. PCP's reported that parents responded positively to the PCP's increased interest in their children's mental health. However, although participants initially indicated strong agreement with the desirability to implement mental health specific practice changes, perceived desirability of such changes declined substantially after 6-months. Conclusion: Changes in PCP's mental health related practice procedures can be facilitated by educational interventions, but continued training in diagnosing and treating children's mental health problems may be needed.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify two practice changes related to high quality and appropriate care for children and adolescents with social and emotional problems. Evaluate training programs designed to improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of primary care physicians to deliver high quality care to children with social and emotional problems.

Keywords: Mental Health Care, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have a Ph.D. and was involved in the analysis of the data and have presented on this topic in the past.
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.