Continuity of care in children’s mental health: Finalizing a new measure

In Senator Kirby’s 2006 report, Out of the Shadows at Last, children’s mental health was labeled the “orphan’s orphan” of Canada’s health care system. For over two decades, the systems-of-care philosophy in children’s mental health has recognized the need to respond to a fragmented service system through greater integration and coordination. Continuity of care, which is how a patient experiences care over time as coherent and linked, has been identified as an indicator of health system performance and is considered an ethical principle of care. Yet, no instrument exists to measure continuity of care as experienced by families receiving services through the children’s mental health system. This deficiency limits efforts to understand, and ultimately improve, continuity of mental health care for children. The development of the Continuity of Care Scale for Children’s Mental Health, which is the goal of the proposed research, is an important step in measuring the integration and coordination of services from the perspective of parents. This research will bring us closer to “adopting” children’s mental health care into the larger mental health care system, in which continuity of care is better understood and measured. 

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Graham Reid


Juliana Tobon


Hospital for Sick Children




Life sciences


Western University



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