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Adolescents with severe mental disorders have never received treatment
Date:1/18/2011

rders were measured using a modified version of the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

Treatment rates were highest in those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (59.8%) and behavior disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) (combined 45.4%). The picture is more discouraging for those adolescents with anxiety, eating, or substance use disorders for whom less than 20% received treatment. 1 Furthermore, the investigators found that Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adolescents were less likely than their White counterparts to receive services for mood and anxiety disorders, even when such disorders were associated with severe impairment. In the article, Merikangas and colleagues comment, "marked racial disparities in lifetime rates of mental health treatment highlight the urgent need to identify and combat barriers to the recognition and treatment of these conditions."

Reflecting on the lack of treatment for adolescents with severe mental disorders, Merikangas and colleagues state, "National shortages of mental health specialists for children remain widely prevalent. Recruitment, training, and promotion of child and adolescent mental health professionals remain leading priorities. Strains on available treatment resources are likely to grow as coverage is extended to large groups of currently uninsured American young people."


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Contact: Chris J. Pfister
C.Pfister@elsevier.com
215-239-3266
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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