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J Sch Health. 2000 Sep;70(7):292-8.

Utility of psychosocial screening at a school-based health center.

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Clinical Services for School Health Program, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


School-based health centers (SBHC) have substantial potential to improve the recognition and treatment of adolescents' mental health problems. This study was undertaken as a quality improvement project to evaluate utility of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist when completed by youth (PSC-Y) among 383 adolescents seen at a SBHC, and the extent to which identification of psychosocial dysfunction and referral to mental health services improved academic functioning. Adolescents identified by the PSC-Y were significantly more likely to be insured by Medicaid, be a teen-age parent, and to have higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness in comparison to those not identified. Adolescents identified with the PSC-Y who were referred to mental health services significantly decreased their rates of absences and tardiness. Study results provide support for the utility of psychosocial screening and referral in the SBHC environment in facilitating recognition and treatment of adolescent mental health problems and improving student academic functioning.

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