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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1998 Oct;45(5):1037-52.

Approaches to recognition and management of childhood psychiatric disorders in pediatric primary care.

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Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Psychiatric disorders occur in 14% to 20% of American children and adolescents and are a leading cause of disability among them, yet fewer than one in five of these children are recognized. The most common psychiatric disorders presenting to pediatricians include ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, substance-use disorders, and conduct disorder, Approaches to recognition include screening for psychosocial concerns using specific questions in the clinical interview, and using brief, written questionnaires. Case vignettes illustrate comprehensive treatment planning for children with psychiatric disorders in the primary care context. As psychopharmacologic treatments and the new subspecialty of pediatric psychopharmacology take on growing importance, the traditional oversight role of the pediatrician and effective communication among referring and consulting physicians remain critical to quality care.

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