Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety


Health Care Service Utilization Among Anxious and Nonanxious Youth

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom A, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Child Anxiety | Anxiety | Health Care System
Presentation Type: Symposium

            Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem, impacting 15 to 20% of youth at any given time. Despite high prevalence, little is known about the type of health care services utilized by anxious youth, impeding public health efforts to improve access to and quality of care. To address this need, the current study will directly compare service utilization in a large sample of anxious and non-anxious youth patients enrolled within Mental Health Research Network (MHRN).

Preliminary analyses were conducted using a sample of 17,929 youths (ages 4 to 17) from the Kaiser Permanente Northwest site. Anxiety diagnoses were derived from ICD-9 codes and service use from procedure codes during 2013-2014. Analyses were completed using a match-control design, where anxious youth were matched with their non-anxious peers using sociodemographic indices. Results from the KPNW site showed that anxious youth were significantly more likely to receive care than non-anxious matched controls in pediatrics (OR = 2.28, p < .001), family medicine (OR = 1.36, p < .001), emergency departments (OR = 2.23, p < .001), and urgent care (OR = 1.66, p < .001). Anxious youth also were more likely to receive services in specialty care settings such as and outpatient mental health (OR = 17.34, p < .001), inpatient mental health (OR = 16.56, p < .001), neurology (OR = 3.71, p < .001), and cardiology (OR = 2.85, p < .001).  Overall, anxious youths in this insured sample were high utilizers of services, including increased use of high cost services.

Final analyses will integrate data from an additional two MHRN sites using innovative statistical methods designed to pool and analyze de-identified services data across multiple sites. This larger sample will also allow for an examination of racial and ethnic disparities in use of services. The present study will be one of the first to examine health services use for a large and diverse sample of anxious youth across several different health care settings and systems. Findings from this study will provide unique and critical information about the availability and type of care currently utilized by anxious youth. Results may be useful in guiding efforts to most efficiently intervene with this widely prevalent and highly impairing condition.

Frances Lynch

Senior Investigator
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research


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Health Care Service Utilization Among Anxious and Nonanxious Youth

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