Author(s): Yellowlees PM, Hilty DM, Marks SL, Neufeld J, Bourgeois JA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: New models of psychiatric intervention are needed to improve the accessibility of mental health care in the primary care setting, particularly in rural areas of the United States and especially for children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the diagnostic characteristics and outcomes for children referred for eMental Health consultations at UC Davis (videoconferencing, telephone, and secure e-mail) from 10 primary care clinics in rural northern California. METHOD: : A retrospective analysis was conducted on the diagnostic and clinical outcomes of 139 referred children who received a full psychiatric diagnostic evaluation via videoconferencing. Within the group, a convenience sample of 58 initial and 41 three-month follow-up Child Behavior Checklists (CBCLs) was collected. RESULTS: Comprehensive eMental Health programs appear to be effective for psychiatric diagnosis and assessment of children. Attention deficit (36.2\%) and mood (28.1\%) disorders were the most common diagnostic groupings overall. Most children were seen only once, but a statistically significant improvement between initial evaluation and 3-month follow-up in the convenience sample was seen in the Affect and Oppositional domains of the CBCL for girls and boys, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Versatile eMental Health programs, incorporating standardized checklists, may assist in diagnosis and treatment of rural children.
This article was published in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care