Distress, Waitlists and Unmet Needs: Parents’ Reports of Child Psychological Difficulties in Aotearoa New Zealand

aut.relation.articlenumber100120
aut.relation.issue1
aut.relation.journalAust N Z J Public Health
aut.relation.startpage100120
aut.relation.volume48
dc.contributor.authorKercher, Amy
dc.contributor.authorBeattie, Seona
dc.contributor.authorDonkin, Liesje
dc.contributor.authorShepherd, Daniel
dc.date.accessioned2024-01-17T22:53:49Z
dc.date.available2024-01-17T22:53:49Z
dc.date.issued2024-01-11
dc.description.abstractOBJECTIVE: Demand for children's mental health services has increased in New Zealand, yet little is known of young children's experience of psychological difficulties and treatment. This study investigated psychological symptoms and treatment experiences among primary-aged children. METHOD: An online survey of parents assessed children's anxiety, depression, attentional, emotional, conduct and peer problems, and experiences seeking psychological treatment. RESULTS: Based on 382 parental reports, between 24.9 and 34.6% of children experienced abnormal-range symptoms. Older children had higher distress, depression, and anxiety. Boys had more conduct, hyperactivity, and peer problems. Ethnicity was not associated with the incidence of symptoms, but parents of Pākeha/European children reported greater impact than Māori parents. One-third of children had been referred for assessment; more often older children, and those with higher hyperactivity, impact, and anxiety. Parents reported difficulties accessing assessment, common barriers included waitlists (53%), cost (43%), and not knowing who to contact (36%). Following intervention, only 51% of parents reported improvements. CONCLUSION: NZ primary-aged children are experiencing more symptoms of psychological distress than previously reported and extensive difficulties accessing treatment. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: There is a need for further screening and increased access to treatment to prevent worsening mental health outcomes in children.
dc.identifier.citationAust N Z J Public Health, ISSN: 1326-0200 (Print); 1753-6405 (Online), Elsevier BV, 48(1), 100120-. doi: 10.1016/j.anzjph.2023.100120
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.anzjph.2023.100120
dc.identifier.issn1326-0200
dc.identifier.issn1753-6405
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10292/17118
dc.languageeng
dc.publisherElsevier BV
dc.relation.urihttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1326020023052974
dc.rights© 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Public Health Association of Australia. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
dc.rights.accessrightsOpenAccess
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
dc.subjectADHD
dc.subjectNZ
dc.subjectanxiety
dc.subjectbarriers
dc.subjectchild
dc.subjectdepression
dc.subjecttreatment
dc.subject4203 Health Services and Systems
dc.subject42 Health Sciences
dc.subjectHealth Services
dc.subjectMental Health
dc.subjectPediatric
dc.subjectDepression
dc.subjectBehavioral and Social Science
dc.subjectMind and Body
dc.subjectClinical Research
dc.subject6 Evaluation of treatments and therapeutic interventions
dc.subject6.6 Psychological and behavioural
dc.subject7.1 Individual care needs
dc.subject7 Management of diseases and conditions
dc.subjectMental health
dc.subject3 Good Health and Well Being
dc.subject1117 Public Health and Health Services
dc.subject1402 Applied Economics
dc.subject1605 Policy and Administration
dc.subjectPublic Health
dc.subject4202 Epidemiology
dc.subject4203 Health services and systems
dc.subject4206 Public health
dc.titleDistress, Waitlists and Unmet Needs: Parents’ Reports of Child Psychological Difficulties in Aotearoa New Zealand
dc.typeJournal Article
pubs.elements-id535228
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