Evaluation of practice nurses' management of paediatric psychosocial problems in general practice

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Abstract

Background Child mental health services are under major pressure worldwide. In the Netherlands, Youth Mental Health Practice Nurses (YMHPNs) have been introduced in general practice to improve access to care. In this study, we evaluated care delivered by YMHPNs.Methods We used medical records of a population-based cohort (21 717 children, 0-17 years). Characteristics of children consulting a YMHPN, type of problem, care delivered by YMHPNs and referrals were assessed using quantitative content analysis.Results Records of 375 children (mean age 12.9 years, 59.2% girl) were analysed. These children were often in their adolescence (57.3% was between 13 and 17 years), and more often female than male (59.2% vs 40.8%). YMHPNs had a median of four consultations (IQR 2-7) with the child. YMHPNs managed a variety of psychosocial problems. YMHPNs managed 22.4% of children without need of referral, 52.0% were eventually referred for additional care. 13.3% of children dropped out during the treatment trajectory. In the remaining 12.3% of children, the treatment trajectory was stopped because the child was already attending specialized services, the treatment trajectory was still ongoing or the medical record was inconclusive.Conclusions YMHPNs successfully managed one in four children with psychosocial problems without need for referral. Nevertheless, most children were eventually referred for additional care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfdae008
Pages (from-to)e261-e268
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health
Volume46
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health.

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