Use of the Public Territorial Neuro-Psychiatric Services in adolescence: a post-hoc study.

Carlo Di Brina, Paola D'Oto, Roberto Di Scipio, Diana Di Pietro, Giacomo Menghini, Bruna La Rocca, Ida Scibilia, Ugo Sabatello


Psychiatric illness in childhood is a widespread phenomenon. The data in the international literature shows about 20% of psychiatric problems in this age group (WHO, 2000; Üstün, 1999).
Rutter & Taylor (2002) state that the presence of psychopathology in the younger population is between 10% and 20%. This percentage gap is the result of the variability in the methodological approach adopted by the epidemiological studies present in the literature.  Comorbidity is common: about 40% of children and adolescents treated by a mental health service present more than one disorder at the same time. There is also a marked co-presence of psycho-social problems (Besana & Spinelli, 2001). 
The problems related to mental health are increasingly important in industrialised nations,  because their incidence reveals a growing trend and because they are associated with a high degree of disability and economic and social costs which weigh on the patients, their family members and on the community.
World Health Organisation reports (WHO, 2000) indicate that in the space of one year about 20% of the adult population presents one or more of the mental disorders that can be classified gnosographically. 
Adult mental disorders are known to be preceded by disorders in adolescence (WHO, 2000; Üstün, 1999). In particular, about 8% of children and adolescents present a mental disorder which can cause interpersonal problems and maladjustment. It should not be forgotten that suicide is the second cause of death among teenagers (Morosini et al. PNSM, 2001).
In the Italian literature very few studies have so far been made providing epidemiological documentation of distress and psychiatric pathology in adolescence based on proper sampling.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363