Mental Health Disorders In Childhood: Assessing the Burden on Families

Health Affairs-July/August 2007
Vol. 26, No. 4
July/August 2007
Busch, S. and C.L. Barry
pp. 1088-95

It is well known that caring for a sick child creates an economic burden for families.  Less is known about how this burden differs by condition.  We found that caring for a child with mental health care needs affects financial well-being more than caring for a child with other special health care needs.  Parents of children with mental health disorders are also more likely than other parents to cut work hours, to quit work, and to spend more time arranging their child's care.  Equalizing private insurance coverage and providing case support could play a vital role in easing the economic toll of care for children with mental health disorders.

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