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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1995 May;17(3):228-34.

Psychosocial care in the pediatric hospital. The need for scientific validation of clinical and cost effectiveness.

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Department of Psychiatry, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Emotional and social factors contribute to the outcome of medical treatment of pediatric patients with chronic illness, especially when associated with disability. They are also important in the management of psychosomatic illnesses, chronic pain syndromes, and specific chronic illnesses. In this era of preoccupation with the cost of health care, there is no consensus about the clinical necessity and cost effectiveness of pediatric hospital psychosocial care programs. The validity of psychosocial care as a clinically effective and cost-effective approach to pediatric care, however, can be established only from carefully controlled, well-designed scientific studies. Optimally, these studies should be randomized, prospective, controlled trials that include the reliable identification of specific psychosocial problems and the subsequent validation of treatment approaches. Currently, such controlled studies of the effectiveness of pediatric hospital psychosocial care programs are lacking.

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