Giving Compass’ Take:
• One recent study revealed that child psychiatry telephone consultation programs are extremely helpful in accessing mental health services and care that children need.
• The study indicated that primary doctors were able to consult with child psychiatrists through these phone programs and found that access to mental health services increased due to this efficiency.
• Read about how hospitals are increasing the use of telehealth.
Telephone hotlines that allow primary care doctors to immediately consult with a child psychiatrist about urgent patient problems appear to increase the number of children who receive aid, offering one strategy to help more children receive mental health services, according to a new study from the nonprofit RAND Corporation.
Examining the growth of such services from 2009 to 2015, researchers found that parents of children who lived in states with child psychiatric telephone access programs were significantly more likely to say their children received mental health services than parents of children in states without such programs.
The study is the first to examine the influence of child psychiatric telephone access programs on a national level. The findings are published online by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
“These findings suggest that telephone access programs may be one strategy to improve the proportion of children who receive help for their mental health needs,” said Dr. Bradley D. Stein, the study’s lead author and a physician scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
Studies estimate that half of the children in the U.S. with mental health problems do not receive needed treatment, often because there are too few child mental health specialists to provide the services needed.
In response, many states have established child psychiatric telephone consultant programs in the hope that access to psychiatric specialists will encourage more primary care physicians to provide mental health services to their patients.
Read the full article about child psychiatry telephone consultation programs by Bradley D. Stein at RAND.
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