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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2004 Apr;38(4):204-11.

Single and combined psychotropic medication use in a child and adolescent mental health service.

Author information

  • 1Alfred Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Level 2, 999 Nepean Highway, Moorabbin Victoria 3189, Australia. emreed@optusnet.com.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

An audit of the extent and effectiveness of medication prescribing in a metropolitan child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) is presented, given the lack of data about medication effectiveness in CAMHS.

METHOD:

The audit involved: (i) determining the rates of prescription of different medications, the symptoms, syndromes and diagnoses for which they were used, and the profession of the medication prescriber; and (ii) a semistructured interview of clinicians using combination pharmacotherapy enquiring about the rationale for its use and the outcomes obtained.

RESULTS:

Two hundred and thirty-five patients using medication were included in the study. A range of medications were prescribed, both alone and in combination. Indications for combination therapy were a single medication being ineffective or associated with adverse effects. They were targeted at symptoms and were associated with no increase in adverse effects. Trainees did relatively little prescribing.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study confirms earlier findings that medical practitioners are prescribing combination pharmacotherapy despite a lack of research to support this practice. Trainees working in CAMHS may be receiving inadequate experience in prescribing psychotropic medication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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