Barriers to mental health care for urban, lower income families referred from pediatric primary care

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2013 May;40(3):159-67. 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Mental Health Services*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pediatrics*
  • Poverty*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population*