Objective: To examine rates and predictors of receiving a psychosocial service before initiating antipsychotic treatment among young people in the Medicaid program.
Method: A retrospective new-user cohort study of 8 state Medicaid programs focused on children and adolescents 0 to 20 years, initiating antipsychotic treatment (N = 24,372). The proportion receiving a psychosocial service in the 3 months before initiating antipsychotic treatment was calculated and stratified by socio-demographic and diagnostic characteristics arranged in 9 hierarchical groups, as follows: developmental, psychotic/bipolar, disruptive, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive, stress, major depressive, anxiety, and other disorders.
Results: Less than one-half of youth received a psychosocial service before initiating antipsychotic treatment (48.8%). Compared to younger adolescents (12-17 years) initiating antipsychotic treatment (51.5%), corresponding younger children (0-5 years; 39.2%) and older adolescents (18-20 years; 40.1%), but not older children (6-11 years; 51.5%), were significantly less likely to have received a psychosocial service. In relation to youth diagnosed with psychotic or bipolar disorder (52.7%), those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity (43.3%), developmental (41.4%), depressive (46.5%), or anxiety (35.6%) disorder were significantly less likely to have received a psychosocial service during the 3 months before antipsychotic initiation. By contrast, youth diagnosed with stress disorders (61.2%) were significantly more likely than those diagnosed with psychotic or bipolar disorders (52.7%) to have received a psychosocial service before starting an antipsychotic.
Conclusion: A majority of Medicaid-insured youth initiating antipsychotic treatment have not received a psychosocial service in the preceding 3 months. This service pattern highlights a critical gap in access to psychosocial services.
Keywords: access to care; antipsychotic treatment; children; prescribing practices; psychotherapy.
Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.