Factors associated with symptom severity in Canadian youth with mental health and/or addictions concerns accessing service navigation

Health Soc Care Community. 2022 Jul 23. doi: 10.1111/hsc.13927. Online ahead of print.


This study investigated the factors associated with clinical symptoms and level of functioning at baseline and after 4 months of navigation, in youth with mental health and/or addiction concerns involved with a family navigation service. Participants in this pre-post study were caregivers who accessed a mental health and addictions navigation service between March 2018 and July 2019 on behalf of their youth aged 13-26 who had mental health and/or addiction concerns. Evaluations were conducted at baseline and at 4 months after entering navigation. The dependent variable, youth mental health symptoms and functioning, was assessed by caregivers using the Symptoms and Functioning Severity Scale. The sample included 345 caregivers of youth (youth: mean age 18 years, 57% male). At intake, using multiple linear regression, caregiver strain (β = 0.481, p < 0.001), youth completion of ADLs (β = -0.156, p = 0.002) and youth motivation (β = -0.110, p = 0.021) contributed significantly to variance in symptoms and functioning (R2 = 0.373, p < 0.001). Using ANOVA to compare complete pre/post data (n = 115), there was a significant main effect of time on the youth symptoms and functioning score (F[1, 107] = 9.278, p = 0.003). Furthermore, the interaction of time, youth completion of ADLs (low vs. high at baseline) and youth motivation (low vs. high at baseline) was significant (F[1, 107] = 4.699, p = 0.032). Youth with low motivation and low completion of ADLs at baseline experienced the largest improvements in symptoms and functioning after 4 months of navigation. These findings suggest that this group of youth should be a primary target in mental health and addiction navigation.

PMID:35869800 | DOI:10.1111/hsc.13927

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