The onset of conduct problems (CP) in childhood has been linked to negative long-term consequences, and children with CP have proved to be heavy and costly service users, particularly in terms of special education services, social services, and judicial services. In addition, childhood CP have been shown to be predictive of increased use of medical services in adulthood and substantial increases in associated costs. While the association between childhood CP and increased service utilization and costs in adulthood has been established in the existing literature, there is little knowledge on the mechanisms that could explain this association. The overarching goal of our study is to explore mechanisms which link childhood CP to developmental trajectories of medical service utilization from childhood through to adolescence. The first objective is to establish trajectories of medical service utilization and costs between childhood and adolescence of boys and girls with and without CP. A second objective is to identify risk and protective factors associated with variations in the medical service utilization trajectories. These questions will be examined by incorporating data on medical service usage provided by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec into an ongoing longitudinal study of 745 boys and girls with and without conduct problems who have been followed for the past seven years. Finally, in collaboration with our knowledge-user team members, a third objective is to translate results into new and relevant knowledge for clinicians and beneficiaries and increase their awareness regarding possible trajectories of and risk and protective factors influencing medical service usage among youth with CP. Knowledge generated from this project will help inform services by identifying specific time periods and intervention targets where intensifying preventive efforts might yield positive results in terms of deflecting negative health trajectories that lead to increased medical service usage.
Organisme.s subventionnaire.s :
Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) - Instituts de Recherche en Santé du Canada (IRSC) - Programme conjoint sur les services de santé