Differential impact of current diagnosis and clinical stage on attendance at a youth mental health service

Shane P.M. Cross*, Daniel F. Hermens, Jan Scott, Luis Salvador-Carulla, Ian B. Hickie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To examine whether clinical stage of illness and current diagnosis influence appointment behaviour in a specialized primary-level youth mental health service. Methods: Factors associated with attendance at 8697 appointments made by 828 young people (females = 497) aged 12–25 years over a 1-year period were analysed. Results: The number of appointments made did not correlate with the rates of attendance. However, those with more severe psychiatric morbidity made significantly more appointments and missed significantly more appointments than those with less severe presentations. Impaired social functioning was the best predictor of female attendance rates, whereas age and clinical stage of illness best predicted male attendance rates. Current diagnosis rather than functional impairment appeared to influence the level of input offered by clinicians. Conclusions: Age, gender, severity of illness, functioning and psychological distress had differential associations with both planned treatment intensity and attendance rates. These differences are likely to have implications for service provision in this youth population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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