System navigation models to facilitate engagement in pediatric behavioral health services: A systematic review
Petts, Rachel A.
McClain, Maryellen B.
Azad, Gazi F.
Shahidullah, Jeffrey D.
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Petts, R. A., McClain, M. B., Azad, G., & Shahidullah, J. D. (2021). System navigation models to facilitate engagement in pediatric behavioral health services: A systematic review. Families, Systems, & Health. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/fsh0000643
Introduction: Despite increased prevalence and identification of pediatric behavioral health concerns, families face many barriers when attempting to access behavioral health services. System navigators, or individuals experienced in navigating the health system, help to engage families in services by helping individuals overcome barriers for accessing care. However, limited research to date has systematically reviewed the implementation and effectiveness of navigation models in pediatric populations. Method: We systematically reviewed published studies examining navigation models for pediatric populations (up to age 18) referred to behavioral health services. We searched PubMed, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and PsycINFO for studies that evaluated a navigation model and included service use outcomes. We aggregated data pertaining to characteristics of the study and navigation model, service use outcomes, and implementation outcomes. Results: Eight studies met inclusion criteria. Families who participated in navigation services were more likely to complete diagnostic assessments and received an increased dosage (e.g., time spent, services completed) of behavioral health treatments. There was notable variability across studies in terms of processes involved in the navigation models. Discussion: Findings indicate that system navigation is a promising method for improving service use for pediatric populations referred to behavioral health services. Future research may continue to examine the effectiveness and implementation of the model, to best understand its benefits and what processes may contribute to improved service outcomes. Public Significance Statement: This paper reviews the effectiveness of system navigator models, which are designed to engage children and families in behavioral health services. The interventions reviewed are associated with increased behavioral health service use in children and show promise as a method of overcoming barriers to accessing behavioral health care. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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