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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000 Mar;154(3):261-6.

Psychosocial morbidity: the economic burden in a pediatric health maintenance organization sample.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, San Jose, Calif 95119, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate psychosocial morbidity in pediatric primary care and to determine displaced health care utilization.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A cross-sectional sample of parent-child dyads was screened using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) at 6 pediatric sites of a health maintenance organization (HMO). Cost and utilization data were retrieved from regional databases for this sample.

PARTICIPANTS:

Parent-child dyads from an HMO in northern California (N = 1840). The children ranged in age from 2 to 18 years.

RESULTS:

In all, 13.0% of children exhibited psychosocial dysfunction. The rate of children's chronic illness was 18.4%. Multiple regression analyses measured utilization and cost of health and psychiatric care for the selected population for the previous year; the average log cost of health care per child was $393. The average health care cost for children with anxious, depressed symptoms was $805. Chronically ill children were the highest utilizers of health care, with an average log cost of $1138. When psychosocial dysfunction was present, regression models showed that health care spending was highest for young children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Health care utilization was higher for children with psychosocial morbidity, was higher among younger children, and decreased with age as psychiatric costs progressively increased.

PMID:
10710024
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.154.3.261
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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