To determine the prevalence of physical and mental/behavioral health conditions among young mothers with a relationship to the child welfare system, a study investigated the vital statistics, medical assistance claims, and child welfare records of 16,000 mother-infant pairs in a large Mid-Atlantic city. Looking at the window of 12 months prior to conception (preconception period) through 12-months post birth (postpartum period), the study examined medical assistance claims files for eight chronic physical health conditions—including inflammatory, immune and metabolic conditions—and ten mental/behavioral health conditions—including psychoses, mood and externalizing disorders and substance abuse. The study then reviewed prescription claim files and identified any medications filled to treat these chronic health conditions. To establish if a young mother experienced discontinuity in the use of a medication, the investigation separately identified medications prescribed in the preconception and postpartum periods. (Author abstract modified)
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Health Status of Young Adult Mothers with a History of Child Welfare Involvement.