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Psychiatr Serv. 2015 Apr 1;66(4):430-3. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Detection and treatment of mental health issues by pediatric PCPs in New York State: an evaluation of Project TEACH.

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Dr. Kerker, Dr. Hoagwood, Dr. Olin, and Dr. Horwitz are with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York City (e-mail: ). Dr. Kerker is also with the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York. Dr. Chor is with the Health and Social Development Program, American Institutes of Research, Chicago. Dr. Hoagwood is also with the New York State Office of Mental Health, Albany, where Dr. Radigan, Mr. Setias, and Ms. Wang are with the Office of Performance Measurement and Evaluation and Dr. Perkins is with the Division of Children and Family Services. The data in this report were presented at the National Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Services Research meeting, Bethesda, Maryland, April 25, 2014.



The authors evaluated Project TEACH (PT), a statewide training and consultation program for pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) on identification and treatment of mental health conditions.


An intervention group of 176 PCPs who volunteered for PT training was compared with a stratified random sample of 200 PCPs who did not receive PT training. Data on prescription practices, diagnoses, and follow-up care were from New York State Medicaid files (2009-2013) for youths seen by the trained (N=21,784) and untrained (N=46,607) PCPs.


The percentage of children prescribed psychotropic medication increased after PT training (9% to 12%, p<.001), a larger increase than in the untrained group (4% to 5%, p<.001) (comparison, p<.001). Fewer differences were noted in diagnoses and in medication use and follow-up care among children with depression.


This intervention may have an impact on providers' behaviors, but further research is needed to clarify its effectiveness.

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