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Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2004 Summer;34(4):329-40.

Changes in outpatient psychiatric diagnosis in privately insured children and adolescents from 1995 to 2000.

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  • 1Yale University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 25 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.


This study examined changes in the diagnostic patterns among children and adolescents treated for mental health problems between the years 1995 and 2000. Using a large database (MarketScan) which compiles claims information from private health insurance plans nationwide, our sample consisted of 100,716 children (under the age of 18) who submitted claims for outpatient mental health services, out of a total of 1,723,681 covered children. Over the five years period, there was a dramatic increase in the proportion of children diagnosed with both Autism and Bipolar disorders. An increase was also observed in Anxiety, ADHD and Depressive disorders. A decrease was observed in diagnostic prevalence of Oppositional, Adjustment and Substance Abuse disorders.

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