Timing of Mental Health Service Use After a Pediatric Firearm Injury
OBJECTIVES: To examine how timing of the first outpatient mental health (MH) visit after a pediatric firearm injury varies by sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. METHODS: We retrospectively studied children aged 5 to 17 years with a nonfatal firearm injury from 2010 to 2018 using the IBM Watson MarketScan Medicaid database. Logistic regression estimated the odds of MH service use in the 6 months after injury, adjusted for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Cox proportional hazard models, stratified by previous MH service use, evaluated variation in timing of the first outpatient MH visit by sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. RESULTS: After a firearm injury, 958 of 2613 (36.7%) children used MH services within 6 months; of these, 378 of 958 (39.5%) had no previous MH service use. The adjusted odds of MH service use after injury were higher among children with previous MH service use (adjusted odds ratio, 10.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 8.45-12.82) and among non-Hispanic white compared with non-Hispanic Black children (adjusted odds ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.02-1.63). The first outpatient MH visit after injury occurred sooner among children with previous MH service use (adjusted hazard ratio, 6.32; 95% CI, 5.45-7.32). For children without previous MH service use, the first MH outpatient visit occurred sooner among children with an MH diagnosis made during the injury encounter (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.72; 95% CI, 2.04-3.65). CONCLUSIONS: More than 3 in 5 children do not receive MH services after firearm injury. Previous engagement with MH services and new detection of MH diagnoses during firearm injury encounters may facilitate timelier connection to MH services after injury.
Hoffmann, Jennifer A.; Pulcini, Christian D.; Hall, Matt; De Souza, Heidi G.; Alpern, Elizabeth R.; Chaudhary, Sofia; Ehrlich, Peter F.; Fein, Joel A.; Fleegler, Eric W.; Goyal, Monika K.; Hargarten, Stephen; Jeffries, Kristyn N.; and Zima, Bonnie T., "Timing of Mental Health Service Use After a Pediatric Firearm Injury" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3146.