European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 1535–1541 | Cite as

Continuity of care from child and adolescent to adult mental health services: evidence from a regional survey in Northern Italy

  • Paolo Stagi
  • Simona Galeotti
  • Stefano Mimmi
  • Fabrizio Starace
  • Augusto C. Castagnini
Original Contribution


To examine clinical and demographic factors associated with continuity of care from child–adolescent (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS), we undertook a record-linkage study to the Adult Mental Health Information System including all those 16 years old and over who were listed between 2010 and 2013 in the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Information System in Emilia-Romagna, an Italian region of nearly 4.5 million residents. From a cohort of 8239 adolescents attending CAMHS (population at risk about 144,000), 821 (19.4 %) moved to AMHS, excluding cases with specific developmental disorders, whose conditions were not managed by adult psychiatrists, and those with mental retardation who attended usually social services. Young people referred for treatment to AMHS were more likely to receive a discharge diagnosis of schizophrenia and related disorders (Odds Ratio [OR] 3.92; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 2.17–7.08), personality disorders (OR 2.69; 95 % CI 1.89–3.83), and pervasive developmental disorders (OR 2.13; 95 % CI 1.51–2.99). Further factors predicting transfer to AMHS were not living with parents, inpatient psychiatric admission, and being on medication in the previous 24 months. These findings suggest that a relatively small number of adolescents moved to AMHS and are likely to reflect the configuration of local mental health services and alternative care available, mainly for those with less-severe mental disorders.


Adolescent Epidemiology ICD-10 Mental health care Psychiatric services Transition 



This study was funded by Regione Emilia-Romagna Innovation Fund, Italy, (DGR grant no. 1165–2012).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Dr. Augusto C. Castagnini acted as external supervisor (Modena AUSL grant no. 547–2013); he devised the study and wrote and revised the paper.

Ethical standards

Data comply with appropriate standards of protection for anonymity, and no ethical approval for this study is required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Stagi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Simona Galeotti
    • 1
  • Stefano Mimmi
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Starace
    • 1
  • Augusto C. Castagnini
    • 1
  1. 1.Mental Health DepartmentAUSL ModenaModenaItaly
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Service, Mental Health DepartmentAzienda USLModenaItaly

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