Utilization of health services in relation to mental health problems in adolescents: A population based survey

Zachrisson, Henrik D.; Rödje, Kjetil; Mykletun, Arnstein
January 2006
BMC Public Health;2006, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p34
Academic Journal
Background: Only a minority of adolescents reporting symptoms above case-levels on screenings for mental health seeks and receives help from specialist health services. The objective of this study was to a) examine help-seeking for symptoms of anxiety and depression in relation to symptom load dimensionally, b) identify the level of specialization in mental health among service-providers, and c) identify associations between mental health problems and contact with different types of health services. Methods: This cross-sectional school-based study (response-rate 88%, n = 11154) is based on Norwegian health surveys among 15 and 16 year olds. Results: We found a dose-response association between symptom-load and help seeking. Only 34% of individuals with mental symptom-load above 99th percentile reported help-seeking in the last 12 months. Forty percent of help seekers were in contact with specialists (psychiatrists or psychologists), the remaining were mainly in contact with GPs. Mental health problems increased help seeking to all twelve service providers examined. Conclusion: It might not be reasonable to argue that all adolescents with case-level mental health problems are in need of treatment. However, concerning the 99th percentile, claiming treatment need is less controversial. Even in the Norwegian context where mental health services are relatively available and free of charge, help-seeking in individuals with the highest symptom-loads is still low. Most help seekers achieved contact with health care providers, half of them at a non specialized level. Our results suggest that adolescents' recognition of mental health problems or intention to seek help for these are the major "filters" restricting treatment.


Related Articles

  • Combined treatment with cognitive-behavioural therapy in adolescent depression: meta-analysis. Dubicka, Bernadka; Elvins, Rachel; Roberts, Chris; Chick, Greg; Wilkinson, Paul; Goodyer, Ian M. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Dec2010, Vol. 197 Issue 6, p433 

    Background The treatment of adolescent depression is controversial and studies of combined treatment (antidepressants and cognitive-behavioural therapy, CBT) have produced conflicting findings. Aims To address the question of whether CBT confers additional benefit to antidepressant treatment in...

  • Depression better understood.  // South Asian Post;1/27/2011, p10 

    The article reports on the results of a Leger Marketing survey which reveals that most Canadians with depression feel their illness is not perceived by the public as a medical condition.

  • Gene Linked to Depression.  // Journal of Dental Hygiene;Summer2003, Vol. 77 Issue 3, p184 

    Reports a study published in the July 18, 2003, issue of 'Science,' which reveals that people with a specific gene who experienced multiple stressful life events over a five-year period were more likely to develop depression. Identification of the serotonin-transporter gene as a possible risk...

  • Prevalence and risk factors for depression in a rural setting: Results from the North Wales arm of the ODIN project. Michalak, Erin E.; Wilkinson, Clare; Hood, Kerenza; Srinivasan, Janaki; Dowrick, Chris; Dunn, Graham // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Dec2002, Vol. 37 Issue 12, p567 

    Background: Depressive disorders are common, and result in high individual and societal costs. The majority of research assessing depression has occurred in urban areas. There is a paucity of research examining the prevalence of and risk factors for depression in rural general practice. Aim: The...

  • Survey Shows Depression Plagues Much of Europe, but Misses Why.  // New American (08856540);10/22/2012, Vol. 28 Issue 20, p8 

    The article reports on the results of Impact of Depression in the workplace in Europe Audit (IDEA) survey conducted by Ipsos MORI from August 30 to September 19, 2012 for the European Depression Association, which reveals that 10 percent of European workers have missed their work due to depression.

  • Britons are more depressed despite better lifestyle.  // Occupational Health;Apr2003, Vol. 55 Issue 4, p8 

    Deals with the prevalence of depression among the British in spite of better lifestyle according to an Institute of Education study. Scope of the survey; Likelihood of admitting anxiety and depression among men born in 1970; Problems in British marriages.

  • Health association finds barriers to depression treatment.  // Westchester County Business Journal;4/29/96, Vol. 35 Issue 18, p31 

    Reports on the survey conducted by Wirthlin Group on the barriers to the treatment of clinical depression in the United States. Attitudes of Americans towards clinical depression; Signs of clinical depression.

  • Health problems and help-seeking in a nationwide sample of operational Norwegian ambulance personnel. Sterud, Tom; Hem, Erlend; Ekeberg, Øivind; Lau, Bjørn // BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p3 

    Background: To estimate the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms, and their association with professional help-seeking, among operational ambulance personnel and a general working population, and to study the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain and disturbed sleep among ambulance...

  • Subjective health complaints in older adolescents are related to perceived stress, anxiety and gender--a cross-sectional school study in Northern Sweden. Wiklund, Maria; Malmgren-Olsson, Eva-Britt; ™hman, Ann; Bergstr”m, Erik; Fjellman-Wiklund, Anncristine // BMC Public Health;2012, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p993 

    Background: Negative trends in adolescent mental and subjective health are a challenge to public health work in Sweden and worldwide. Self-reported mental and subjective health complaints such as pain, sleeping problems, anxiety, and various stress-related problems seem to have increased over...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics