Ten-year increase in service use in the Dutch population

NT Tick, Jan van der Ende, Frank Verhulst

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Since earlier research has indicated an increase in mental health problems among Dutch children, we investigated whether service use for mental health problems has also increased. Subsequently, we investigated whether a possible increase could be explained by child, family and socio-demographic characteristics that increase the likelihood of service use. We compared two population samples of 6- to 18-year-olds, one assessed in 1993 and one in 2003. Chi-square tests were conducted to examine differences between the proportions of service-users. We performed a logistic regression to test whether care-promoting factors accounted for the effect of year. Results showed that service use increased from 1993 to 2003, but not among children with high CBCL scores. Having serious problems, living in a family other than two biological parents, and having educational problems all increased the likelihood of service use and became more present in the Dutch population. These variables accounted for 49% reduction in the Odds Ratio of the effect of year. Although the proportion of children who used services increased from 1993 to 2003, still a large number of children experience an unmet need. The increase in the number of children from a family structure other than two biological parents or who have educational problems is a worrisome development in itself.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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