The pediatrician as gatekeeper to mental health care for children: do parents' concerns open the gate?
ABSTRACT Data from a study of children seen for pediatric care in a Health Maintenance Organization are used to examine factors which influence the likelihood that a pediatrician will identify a psychiatric problem and refer an identified child to a mental health specialist for further evaluation and treatment. Parental level of distress, family psychiatric history, and discussion of parental concerns with the pediatrician were found to be important. Characteristics of the service delivery system which may impede appropriate identification and referral are discussed. Implications for participation of child and adolescent psychiatrists in the training of pediatricians are presented.
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ABSTRACT: The value of evidence-based services is now recognized both within clinical communities and by the public at large. Increasingly, neuropsychologists must justify the necessity of often costly and time-consuming neuropsychological assessments in the diagnosis and treatment of common childhood disorders, such as Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Published medical guidelines and prominent researchers, however, have argued against the need for formal neuropsychological assessment of ADHD. The present review examines the literature on developmental outcomes in childhood ADHD, with emphasis on the utility of formal neuropsychological assessment among children diagnosed and treated in primary care settings. The review yields three central findings: 1) adherence to published diagnostic guidelines for ADHD is poor among pediatric and primary care physicians; 2) ADHD most often co-exists with other disorders, thus diagnoses made without formal psychometric assessment can be incomplete or incorrect, ultimately increasing treatment costs; and, 3) untreated children with ADHD, and those who have untreated comorbidities, are at greater risk for poor outcomes in social, academic, vocational, and practical settings. The available literature suggests that neuropsychological assessment provides information that can potentially reduce risks for poor outcomes and improve quality of life among children with ADHD. Controlled studies directly examining the impact of neuropsychological assessments in improving outcomes among children with ADHD are needed.Neuropsychology Review 11/2011; 22(1):54-68. DOI:10.1007/s11065-011-9185-7 · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The future of human societies depends on children being able to achieve their optimal physical and psychological development. Developmental delay is failure to acquire age-appropriate functionality. It may involve one or more streams of development. Responsive parenting has potential to promote better development. Primary health physicians are in the best arrangement to provide this assistance as they can monitor child’s development longitudinally and understand the child’s developmental trajectory better. Current strategy employed by majority of primary-care providers to monitor the trajectory is termed ‘developmental surveillance’. It is “a flexible, continuous process whereby knowledgeable professionals perform skilled observations of children during the provision of health care”. Age-appropriate developmental checklists are also used to record milestones as part of surveillance. Both, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the British Joint Working Party on Child Health Services, recommend developmental surveillance by physicians as a method of identification of developmental delays. Developmental screening, however, improves the accuracy of identifying children with delay, compared with surveillance. Primary health physicians should consider using developmental screening tools that are standardized, reliable, valid and practical in the office setting, be familiar with screening techniques which should be incorporated into ongoing care, and keep abreast of current literature. Pakistan, as a developing country, needs specific strategies to ensure that we seize all the chances to detect this delay at an earlier age and introduce intervention, in order to lessen the burden of the disability on child, family and society.Brain & development 02/2010; 32(2-32):90-97. DOI:10.1016/j.braindev.2009.06.004 · 1.54 Impact Factor