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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

SUNY Albany Study Reveals Critical Gap in Psychosocial Services for Medicaid-Insured Youth

A majority of Medicaid-insured youth are not receiving psychosocial services before initiating antipsychotic treatment, according to a multi-state study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The research highlights an increasing concern regarding the metabolic risks of antipsychotics in adolescents and the longstanding safety of antipsychotic medications on the developing brain.

The study is co-authored by assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics Dr. Emily Leckman-Westin from the University at Albany SUNY School of Public Health.

Dr. Leckman-Westin and her colleagues examined the rates and predictors of receiving psychosocial services before initiating antipsychotic treatment among young people in the Medicaid program in eight states. The authors found that a greater number of children on Medicaid who receive antipsychotics are initially not given psychosocial services in the preceding three months prior to starting the medication.

Antipsychotics are used to manage psychosis and other mental and emotional illnesses that include but are not limited to: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), delusional disorder and psychotic depression.

Other key findings include:

The states included in the study were Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico and Rhode Island.