Year: 2023 Source: Comprehensive Psychiatry. (2023). 126, 152404. SIEC No: 20231969
Objectives There is an ongoing necessity to match clinical interventions with the multidimensional needs of young people. A key step toward better service planning and the design of optimal models of care is to use multidimensional assessment to understand the clinical needs of those presenting to primary mental health care. Methods 1284 people aged 12–25 years presenting to primary youth mental health services completed an online assessment at service entry. Latent class analysis was conducted for seven scales assessing anxiety, depression, psychosis, mania, functioning (indexed by Work and Social Adjustment Scale), and suicidality. Results A three-class solution was identified as the optimal solution. Class 1 (n = 305, 23.75%), an early illness stage group, had low and mixed symptomatology with limited functional impairment, class 2 (n = 353, 27.49%) was made up of older persons with established depression and functional impairment, and class 3 (n = 626, 48.75%) had very high and complex needs, with functional impairment, suicidality, and at-risk mental states (psychosis or mania). Additional differentiating characteristics included psychological distress, circadian disturbances, social support, mental health history, eating disorder behaviours, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Conclusions A large proportion of help-seeking young people present with symptoms and functional impairment that may exceed the levels of care available from basic primary care or brief intervention services. These subgroups highlight the importance of multidimensional assessments to determine appropriate service pathways and care options.