Child Psychiatric Epidemiology and Canadian Public Policy-Making: The State of the Science and the Art of the Possible

January 11, 2002

Charlotte Waddell, David Offord, Cody A. Shepherd, Josephine M. Hua, and Kimberley McEwan (2002). Child psychiatric epidemiology and Canadian public policy-making: The state of the science and the art of the possible. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 47(9).


Epidemiological studies have characterized the high burden of suffering that child psychiatric disorders cause — 14% of children (1.1 million in Canada) have clinically important disorders at any given time. In this review, we summarize the recent research and discuss several unresolved scientific issues that must be addressed to make epidemiology more useful to policy-makers. We then discuss implications for policy-making to improve children’s mental health outcomes. Overall, given the high prevalence rates, increasing clinical services alone will not suffice; rather, a multifaceted mix of strategies is required.

Full text of this article is held by the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and is available to all readers.