Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Access to Mental Health Services and Family Burden of Rural Children with Significant Mental Health Problems

1/1/2008 - 1/31/2009
Jennifer Dunbar Lenardson, M.H.S.
Principal Investigator: 
David Hartley, Ph.D., M.H.A.

Policies can and should be developed to better meet the mental health needs of these children and provide the support needed by their families. However, a major limitation is the lack of research on how well the needs of children with SED are currently being met in rural areas. Additionally, although there are reasons to believe the burden these problems place on families is higher in rural areas, evidence to support this assumption is limited. We also lack information about how different factors, such as child's age or family work status, affect how well the needs of children and their families are met across the rural continuum.
<b>Methods:</b> The National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) and information on community characteristics from the Area Resource File (ARF) provide rich data sources to describe these interrelationships and to examine the determinants of whether children and their families have their needs meet across the rural continuum. Using the NS-CSHCN and the ARF, we will address following research questions:<li>What is the prevalence of children with SED across the rural continuum?
<li>How does the level of need for mental health services for children with SED vary across the rural continuum?
<li>How well are the mental health needs of these children met across the rural continuum?
<li>What is the level of burden on these children?s families across the rural continuum? and
<li>What role do enabling, need, and predisposing factors play in whether or not the mental health needs of children with SED and their families are met across the rural continuum?</li>

Start Date: 
Tue, 2008-01-01
End Date: 
Sat, 2009-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
5 847

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Dr. Ziller to speak on Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid Expansions

The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health care coverage and access in rural areas is largely unknown and will depend on the different state policy contexts in which the expansions are implemented and on existing system capacity. Understanding how many rural residents are likely to become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, as well as their characteristics and health status, will provide important information to aid policymakers in structuring outreach and enrollment strategies and ensuring that the healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems in rural areas can address the needs of these individuals.

On March 18th, Dr. Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine, will present via a SHARE webinar, nationally representative information identifying rural-urban differences among low-income non-elderly adults (18 to 65) in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility, pre-ACA
  • Medicaid participation, pre-ACA
  • New Medicaid eligibility in 2014

Dr. Ziller will also analyze the characteristics associated with any rural-urban differences in the above areas. Characteristics to be considered include age, gender, employment, education, income, Census region, health status, current relationship to primary care provider, primary care supply, and FQHC availability.

This webinar is based on Dr. Ziller's research under a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) grant to inform federal and state implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion by estimating the size and characteristics of the rural population likely to be newly eligible.
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