Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 159–167

Barriers to Mental Health Care for Urban, Lower Income Families Referred from Pediatric Primary Care


    • Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
    • Arlington County Department of Human Services
  • Susan dosReis
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services ResearchUniversity of Maryland School of Pharmacy
  • Miriam Stewart
    • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Rochelle Kushner
    • Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Emily Frosch
    • Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Barry Solomon
    • Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10488-011-0389-1

Cite this article as:
Larson, J., dosReis, S., Stewart, M. et al. Adm Policy Ment Health (2013) 40: 159. doi:10.1007/s10488-011-0389-1


The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of parent-reported barriers on the likelihood of attending a mental health evaluation after referral from pediatric primary care. As the part of procedure, parents of children (N = 55) referred for mental health from primary care completed a 23-item questionnaire (three subscales; Cronbach alpha > 0.7): intangible barriers, tangible barriers, and child functioning. Logistic regression examined associations between responses and referral follow-through. The results showed that the high levels of intangible barriers were associated with decreased odds of attending the mental health evaluation (OR = 0.20, 0.06–0.83; P = 0.03). Therefore, we conclude that parental concerns about mental health care may be important for engagement in treatment.


Community mental health servicesAccess to healthcarePediatricReferrals and consultation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011