2021 - 2026

Principal Investigators: Benjamin Van Voorhees, M.D., M.P.H., Kristin Berg, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator: Tracy R.G. Gladstone, Ph.D.

Funded by: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Teens with disabilities are more likely to be anxious and depressed. For teens with disabilities, untreated depression and anxiety can negatively impact their health, complicate their transition to adulthood, and limit future possibilities.

Many teens with disabilities and their families receive “care coordination services” from a state Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) agency. MCHB care coordination services help teens with disabilities get the medical care and social services they need to be healthy, but usually do not provide mental health treatment. Complex HEalth Care for Kids (CHECK) developed a program to combine mental health treatment and care coordination services for teens with disabilities.

The goal of this study is to see whether a care coordination program that treats depression and anxiety is better than a care coordination program that refers teens to mental health services in terms of making teens feel healthier, happier, and able to handle future challenges. The project team will test which care coordination approach is better at making teens with disabilities: 1) less anxious and depressed; 2) feel healthier, function better, and practice healthy habits; and 3) improve their ability to manage their health. This study will also evaluate which approach makes teens, parents, and providers feel more satisfied with their care coordination experience. It will give teens with disabilities and their families information about what kinds of care coordination models are available, and which are better suited to their needs.

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