Psykologisk Institut

Systematic identification and stratification of help-seeking school-aged youth with mental health problems: a novel approach to stage-based stepped-care

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


  • Rasmus Trap Wolf, Capital Region of Denmark, Syddansk Universitet, Danmark
  • Louise Berg Puggaard, Capital Region of Denmark, Danmark
  • Mette Maria Agner Pedersen, Capital Region of Denmark, Danmark
  • Anne Katrine Pagsberg, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
  • Wendy K. Silverman, Yale University, USA
  • Christoph U Correll, Zucker Hillside Hospital Division of North Shore, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Hofstra University, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Danmark
  • Kerstin Jessica Plessen, Capital Region of Denmark, Lausanne University Hospital, Danmark
  • Simon-Peter Neumer , Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Oslo, The Arctic University of Norway, North Norway (RKBU), Tromsø, Norge
  • Dorte Gyrd-Hansen, Syddansk Universitet, Danmark
  • Mikael Thastum
  • Niels Bilenberg, Region of Southern Denmark, Syddansk Universitet, Danmark
  • Per Hove Thomsen
  • Pia Jeppesen, Capital Region of Denmark, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
We investigated whether a novel visitation model for school-aged youth with mental health problems based on a stage-based stepped-care approach facilitated a systematic identification and stratification process without problems with equity in access. The visitation model was developed within the context of evaluating a new transdiagnostic early treatment for youth with anxiety, depressive symptoms, and/or behavioural problems. The model aimed to identify youth with mental health problems requiring an intervention, and to stratify the youth into three groups with increasing severity of problems. This was accomplished using a two-phase stratification process involving a web-based assessment and a semi-structured psychopathological interview of the youth and parents. To assess problems with inequity in access, individual-level socioeconomic data were obtained from national registers with data on both the youth participating in the visitation and the background population. Altogether, 573 youth and their parents took part in the visitation process. Seventy-five (13%) youth had mental health problems below the intervention threshold, 396 (69%) were deemed eligible for the early treatment, and 52 (9%) had symptoms of severe mental health problems. Fifty (9%) youth were excluded for other reasons. Eighty percent of the 396 youth eligible for early treatment fulfilled criteria of a mental disorder. The severity of mental health problems highlights the urgent need for a systematic approach. Potential problems in reaching youth of less resourceful parents, and older youth were identified. These findings can help ensure that actions are taken to avoid equity problems in future mental health care implementations.
TidsskriftEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 18 jan. 2021

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