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

  • Justine Larson
  • Susan dosReis
  • Miriam Stewart
  • Rochelle Kushner
  • Emily Frosch
  • Barry Solomon
Original Article


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 services Access to healthcare Pediatric Referrals and consultation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justine Larson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Susan dosReis
    • 3
  • Miriam Stewart
    • 4
  • Rochelle Kushner
    • 5
  • Emily Frosch
    • 1
  • Barry Solomon
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Arlington County Department of Human ServicesArlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services ResearchUniversity of Maryland School of PharmacyBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Johns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Tufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  6. 6.Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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