Review of literature on aftercare services among children and adolescents.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

OBJECTIVE: Psychiatric hospital lengths of stay have decreased for children and adolescents, in part because of the presumption that aftercare services in the community are effective and accessible. This review critically examines the literature that pertains to the rates of aftercare service use, the effectiveness of aftercare services, and predictors of aftercare service use. METHODS: Studies were selected on the basis of MEDLINE and PsychINFO computer searches, covering the period between January 1992 and August 2003. Reports that were selected (N=21) included data on outpatient aftercare service use among youths who were aged 18 years and younger and who were discharged from child and adolescent inpatient facilities. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: A majority of youths received aftercare services after hospitalization, but many youths and families were not fully compliant with aftercare recommendations. Many youths and families continued to receive services up to three months after hospitalization. The literature documents only a small amount of evidence about the effectiveness of aftercare services, but the evidence suggested that aftercare services for youths with substance use problems may have beneficial effects. Few studies examined predictors of aftercare service use and discontinuation, but previous recent mental health service use and decreased family dysfunction appeared to be related to aftercare service use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Daniel, SS; Goldston, DB; Harris, AE; Kelley, AE; Palmes, GK

Published Date

  • August 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 901 - 912

PubMed ID

  • 15292540

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1075-2730

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States