On-site Mental Health Professionals and Pediatric Residents in Continuity Clinic
The objective of the study was to examine differences in pediatric resident perceptions and practices related to child mental health conditions in continuity clinic settings with versus without on-site mental health professionals (MHPs). A 20-item questionnaire, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics Periodic Survey Number 59, was administered to pediatric residents in a medium-sized program from 2008 to 2011. Of 130 residents surveyed, compared with their peers, those practicing with the on-site MHPs were more likely to report mental health services as very available in their clinic (odds ratio [OR] = 39.7; P = .000). Residents with on-site MHPs inquired more frequently about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; OR = 2.96; P = .029) and referred more frequently for ADHD (OR = 3.68; P = .006), depression (OR = 2.82; P = .030), and behavioral problems (OR = 3.04; P = .012). On-site MHPs in continuity clinics offer great potential to improve resident education and patient care. Additional research is necessary to further understand their impact.