Unmet Need for Specialty Mental Health Services in Children across Europe Children Access to Care in SCMHE

ABSTRACT SL1-4

 MAURO CARTA
Department of Public Health, Center of Liaison Psychiatry Cagliari University, Cagliari, Italy

VIVIANE KOVESS-MASFETY
EHESP EA 4057 Paris Descartes Fondation Deniker, Paris, France

ADINA BITFOI
The Romanian League for Mental Health, Bucharest, Romania

CEREN KOÇ
The Yeniden Health and Education Society, Istanbul, Turkey

DIETMAR GOELITZ
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nurnberg, Erlangen, Germany

SIGITA LESINSKIENE
Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania

ZLATKA MIHOVA
New Bulgaria University, Sofia, Bulgaria

ROY OTTEN
Radboud University, Nijmegen, Gelderland, the Netherlands

ANDERS BOYD
Institut Pierre Louis d’Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique Universite Paris 6 Pierre Et Marie Curie, Paris, France

MATHILDE HUSKY
Department of Psychology, University of Bordeaux, Talence, France

CHRISTINE CHAN-CHEE
EHESP EA 4057 Paris Descartes Fondation Deniker, Paris, France

ONDINE PEZ
Paris Descartes University, Ecole des Hautes Etudes de Santé Publique (EHESP), Paris, France

ABSTRACT DESCRIPTION

Objective: The aim of the current study is to examine the determinants of use of mental health services for children across Europe, with a specific focus on differences in the availability of mental health resources.

Methods: Data were drawn from the School Child Mental Health in Europe (SCHME) project), a cross-sectional survey conducted in seven countries including Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey in 2010. Parent- and teacher- reported child mental health status was based on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Socio-demographic characteristics of parents and children, as well as academic performance and use of mental health services in the previous 12 months were collected. Countries were categorized into high- (HMHR) versus low-mental health resources (LMHR) groups. Sample comprised 4,894 children enrolled in school in the seven countries.

Results: Across Europe, only 25.63% of children with a disorder had received mental health services in the previous 12 months; 31.5% in HMHR versus 18.9% in LMHR (p=.001). The presence of any disorder, maternal psychological distress, gender, living in a single-parent home and low academic performance were determinants of service use. The effect of resources group remained significant when controlling for all predictors (OR =1.41 p=.0019). Determinants differed between groups with an effect of maternal psychological distress in high-resources countries and gender in low-resources countries.

Conclusions: The findings point to a substantial portion of unmet need across Europe and to major differences in access to care to in low versus high resources countries. Overall, the results suggest that efforts are needed to address the serious level of unmet need in children with mental health problems, especially in low-resources countries.