Use of First-Line Psychosocial Care for Children and Adolescents on Antipsychotics (APP)

Assesses the percentage of children and adolescents newly started on antipsychotic medications without a clinical indication who had documentation of psychosocial care as first-line treatment.

Why It Matters

Although antipsychotic medications may serve as effective treatment for a narrowly defined set of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, they are often prescribed for nonpsychotic conditions for which psychosocial interventions are considered first-line treatment.1 Safer, first-line psychosocial interventions may be underutilized, and children and adolescents may unnecessarily incur the risks associated with antipsychotic medications.

Results – National Averages

Use of First-line Psychosocial Care for Children and Adolescents in Antipsychotics

Measure YearCommercial HMOCommerial PPOMedicaid HMO

This State of Healthcare Quality Report classifies health plans differently than NCQA’s Quality Compass. HMO corresponds to All LOBs (excluding PPO and EPO) within Quality Compass. PPO corresponds to PPO and EPO within Quality Compass.

Figures do not account for changes in the underlying measure that could break trending. Contact Information Products via for analysis that accounts for trend breaks.


  1. Olfson, M., C. Blanco, L. Liu, C. Moreno, G. Laje. 2006. “National Trends in the Outpatient Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Antipsychotic Drugs.” Archives of General Psychiatry 63(6):679–85.

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