Patterns of Child Mental Health Service Utilization Within a Multiple EBP System of Care

This article was originally published here

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2021 Nov 27. doi: 10.1007/s10488-021-01179-7. Online ahead of print.


The current study (1) characterizes patterns of mental health service utilization over 8 years among youth who received psychotherapy in the context of a community implementation of multiple evidence-based practices (EBPs), and (2) examined youth-, provider- and service-level predictors of service use patterns. Latent profile analyses were performed on 5,663,930 administrative claims data furnished by the county department of mental health. Multinomial logistic regression with Vermunt’s method was used to examine predictors of care patterns. Based on frequency, course, cost, and type of services, three distinct patterns of care were identified: (1) Standard EBP Care (86.3%), (2) Less EBP Care (8.5%), and (3) Repeated/Chronic Care (5.2%). Youth age, ethnicity, primary language, primary diagnosis and secondary diagnosis, provider language and provider type, and caregiver involvement and service setting were significant predictors of utilization patterns. Although the majority of youth received care aligned with common child EBP protocols, a significant portion of youth (13.7%) received no evidence-based care or repeated, costly episodes of care. Findings highlight opportunities to improve and optimize services, particularly for youth who are adolescents or transition-aged, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Spanish-speaking, or presenting with comorbidities.

PMID:34837572 | DOI:10.1007/s10488-021-01179-7