FREQUENCY AND PATTERNS OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES UTILIZATION AMONG ADOLESCENTS WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS


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Abstract

The main aim of this study was to examine the frequency and patterns of mental health services utilization among 12- to 17-year-old adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders. Another aim was to examine the factors associated with the use of mental health services. The study population comprised 1,035 adolescents randomly recruited from 36 schools. Anxiety and depressive disorders were coded based on DSM-IV criteria using the computerized Munich version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Only 18.2% of the adolescents who met DSM-IV criteria for anxiety disorders, and 23% of those with depressive disorders, used mental health services. Among adolescents with anxiety disorders, mental health services utilization was associated with past suicide attempt, older age, the presence of comorbid disorders, as well as parental anxiety and depression. The only factor that predicts the use of mental health service among adolescents with depressive disorder was a history of suicide attempt. The implication of the results in terms of tailoring services for children and adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders are discussed.

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