The Healthy People 2010 criteria for the care of children with special health care needs: an effective national policy for meeting mental health care needs?
The U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Healthy People 2010 Six Core Criteria for the care of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) serve as the national policy for the care of children with special needs. This study examines whether the Core Criteria are effective in reducing unmet mental health needs among CSHCN. This study represents the first attempt to establish the effectiveness of this policy with the use of multivariate analyses. In 2001, there were over 2.3 million CSHCN in the U.S. who needed mental health care. Almost one-fifth of these children did not receive the mental health services that they needed. Applying logistic regression analysis to the 2001 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, the findings of this study indicate that the fulfillment of the Six Core Criteria plays a significant role in reducing the probability of having an unmet mental health care need for CSHCN. The results also indicate that the best approach to ensuring that CSHCN receive all needed mental health care while achieving the Healthy People 2010 goal may begin with striving to ensure access to comprehensive and continuous care.
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