Patterns of service provision in child and adolescent mental health care in Australia

Luis Salvador-Carulla, Mary Anne Furst, Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, John Mendoza, Denise Riordan, Elizabeth Moore, Daniel Rock, Lauren Anthes, Nasser Bagheri, Jose A. Salinas-Perez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Standard description of local care provision is essential for evidence-informed planning. This study aimed to map and compare the availability and diversity of current mental health service provision for children and adolescents in Australia. We used a standardised service classification instrument, the Description and Evaluation of Services and DirectoriEs (DESDE) tool, to describe service availability in eight urban and two rural health districts in Australia. The pattern of care was compared with that available for other age groups in Australia. Outpatient care was found to be the most common type of service provision, comprising 212 (81.2%) of all services identified. Hospital care (acute and non-acute) was more available in urban than in rural areas (20 services [9.7%] vs 1 [1.8%]). The level of diversity in the types of care available for children and adolescents was lower than that for the general adult population, but slightly higher than that for older people in the same areas. Standardised comparison of the pattern of care across regions reduces ambiguity in service description and classification, enables gap analysis and can inform policy and planning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Child Health Care
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2022


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