Objective: To describe a psychology behavioral screening service and the use of the service in subsequent primary care provider (PCP) treatment decisions. Methods: The goal of the behavioral screening service was to obtain standardized parent and teacher rating scale data for children identified by PCPs as having possible behavioral problems. Medical chart review data were collected on 147 children for 1 year following screening to evaluate (1) PCP follow-up of the behavioral concern, (2) prescription of psychotropic medications, (3) referral to mental health services, and (4) receipt of mental health services. Results: Children screened by this psychology service had clinically significant behavioral problems, according to both parent and teacher data; PCPs appeared to use screening results to guide decisions about medication prescription but not mental health referrals. Children with more behavioral problems were more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications and to be seen by a mental health professional. Conclusions: These data suggest that a psychology behavioral screening service is feasible and may help guide PCP treatment decisions for children with behavior problems, particularly regarding the prescription of psychotropic medication.
- Child behavior problems
- Primary care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology