Treatment of Maladaptive Aggression in Youth: CERT Guidelines II. Treatments and Ongoing Management

State of New Jersey, Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 05/2012; 129(6):e1577-86. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-1361
Source: PubMed


To develop guidelines for management and treatment of maladaptive aggression in youth in the areas of psychosocial interventions, medication treatments, and side-effect management.
Evidence was assembled and evaluated in a multistep process, including systematic reviews of published literature; an expert survey of recommended practices; a consensus conference of researchers, policymakers, clinicians, and family advocates; and review by the steering committee of successive drafts of the recommendations. The Center for Education and Research on Mental Health Therapeutics Treatment of Maladaptive Aggression in Youth guidelines reflect a synthesis of the available evidence, based on this multistep process.
This article describes the content, rationale, and evidence for 11 recommendations. Key treatment principles include considering psychosocial interventions, such as evidence-based parent and child skills training as the first line of treatment; targeting the underlying disorder first following evidence-based guidelines; considering individual psychosocial and medical factors, including cardiovascular risk in the selection of agents if medication treatment (ideally with the best evidence base) is initiated; avoiding the use of multiple psychotropic medications simultaneously; and careful monitoring of treatment response, by using structured rating scales, as well as close medical monitoring for side effects, including metabolic changes.
Treatment of children with maladaptive aggression is a "moving target" requiring ongoing assimilation of new evidence as it emerges. Based on the existing evidence, the Treatment of Maladaptive Aggression in Youth guidelines provide a framework for management of maladaptive aggression in youth, appropriate for use by primary care clinicians and mental health providers.

Download full-text


Available from: Peter S Jensen
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This systematic review examines treatment guidelines, efficacy/effectiveness, and tolerability regarding the use of antipsychotics concurrently with psychostimulants in treating aggression and hyperactivity in children and adolescents. Articles examining the concurrent use of antipsychotics and psychostimulants to treat comorbid attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) were identified and their results were summarized and critically analyzed. Antipsychotic and stimulant combination therapy is recommended by some guidelines, but only as a third-line treatment following stimulant monotherapy and stimulants combined with behavioral interventions to treat aggression in patients with ADHD. Some studies suggest efficacy/effectiveness for an antipsychotic and stimulant combination in the treatment of aggression and hyperactivity in children and adolescents. However, the data do not clearly demonstrate superiority compared to antipsychotic or psychostimulant monotherapy. Most studies were performed over short time periods, several lacked blinding, few studies used any placebo control, and no comparisons were made with behavioral interventions. There are concerns about the tolerability of combination therapy, but data do not suggest significantly worse adverse effects for combination compared to either antipsychotic or stimulant monotherapy. Conversely, and contrary to speculation, use of a stimulant does not significantly reduce metabolic effects of antipsychotics. Combination treatment with antipsychotics and psychostimulants is used frequently, and increasingly more often. Few studies have directly examined this combination for the treatment of ADHD and DBDs. Further studies are necessary to confirm the efficacy and tolerability of the concurrent use of antipsychotics and psychostimulants in children and adolescents.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Current Psychiatry Reports
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antipsychotic polypharmacy (APP), which is common in adults with psychotic disorders, is of unproven efficacy and raises safety concerns. Although youth are increasingly prescribed antipsychotics, little is known about APP in this population. We performed a systematic PubMed search (last update 26 January 2013) of studies reporting the prevalence of APP in antipsychotic-treated youth. Summary statistics and statistical tests were calculated at the study level and not weighted by sample size. Fifteen studies (n = 58 041, range 68-23 183) reported on APP in youth [mean age = 13.4 ± 1.7 yr, 67.1 ± 10.2% male, 77.9 ± 27.4% treated with second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs)]. Data collected in these studies covered 1993-2008. The most common diagnoses were attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; 39.9 ± 23.5%) and conduct disorder/oppositional defiant disorder (CD/ODD; 33.6 ± 24.8). In studies including predominantly children (mean age = <13 yr, N = 5), the most common diagnosis were ADHD (50.6 ± 25.4%) and CD/ODD (39.5 ± 27.5%); while in studies with predominantly adolescents (mean age = ⩾13 yr, N = 7) the most common diagnoses were schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (28.6 ± 23.8%), anxiety disorders (26.9 ± 14.9%) and bipolar-spectrum disorders (26.6 ± 7.0%), followed closely by CD/ODD (25.8 ± 17.7). The prevalence of APP among antipsychotic-treated youth was 9.6 ± 7.2% (5.9 ± 4.5% in child studies, 12.0 ± 7.9% in adolescent studies, p = 0.15). Higher prevalence of APP was correlated with a bipolar disorder or schizophrenia diagnosis (p = 0.019) and APP involving SGA+SGA combinations (p = 0.0027). No correlation was found with APP definition [⩾1 d (N = 10) vs. >30-⩾90 d (N = 5), p = 0.88]. Despite lacking safety and efficacy data, APP in youth is not uncommon, even in samples predominantly consisting of non-psychotic patients. The duration, clinical motivations and effectiveness of this practice require further study.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although concern has been raised about antipsychotic prescribing to youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the available database is limited to individual studies. Therefore, in order to provide a synthesis of prevalence and time trends, we conducted a systematic review and pooled analysis of pharmaco-epidemiologic data on antipsychotic use in ADHD youth. Of 1806 hits, 21 studies (N) were retained that reported analyzable data for three separate populations: 1) antipsychotic-treated youth (N = 15, n = 341,586); 2) ADHD youth (N = 9, n = 6,192,368), and 3) general population youth (N = 5, n = 14,284,916). Altogether, 30.5 ± 18.5 % of antipsychotic-treated youth had ADHD. In longitudinal studies, this percentage increased over time (1998-2007) from 21.7 ± 7.1 % to 27.7 ± 7.7 %, ratio = 1.3 ± 0.4. Furthermore, 11.5 ± 17.5 % of ADHD youth received antipsychotics. In longitudinal studies, this percentage also increased (1998-2006) from 5.5 ± 2.6 % to 11.4 ± 6.7 %, ratio = 2.1 ± 0.6. Finally, 0.12 ± 0.07 % of youth in the general population were diagnosed with ADHD and received antipsychotics. Again, in longitudinal studies, this percentage increased over time (1993-2007): 0.13 ± 0.09 % to 0.44 ± 0.49 %, ratio = 3.1 ± 2.2. Taken together, these data indicate that antipsychotics are used by a clinically relevant and increasing number of youth with ADHD. Reasons for and risk/benefit ratios of this practice with little evidence base require further investigation.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Current Psychiatry Reports
Show more