Objective: We present a survey of sex differences and socio-demographic and clinical variables in children and adolescents receiving a psychiatric consultation service in an emergency department (ED).Methods: This observational, retrospective, and cross-sectional study included all records of patients (age, <18 years) who received psychiatric services in an ED in a 4-year period (January 2010 to December 2013).Results: Two hundred fifty-nine records of children and adolescents were located. The mean age of the participants was 14.19 years, and most subjects were female (59.5%) and had private health insurance (83.7%). Most participants (87.4%) were accompanied by their parents. The main complaints were suicide attempts (21.8%) and psychomotor agitation/aggressiveness (21.8%). Unipolar depression (37.8%) and adjustment, reactive, and anxiety disorders (13.7%) were the most prevalent diagnoses. Most patients received an indication of psychiatric hospitalization (51.7%). Females had more suicide attempts than males (28.3% vs 12.4%) and less psychomotor agitation/aggressiveness than males (15.5% vs 31.4%). Females also exhibited more unipolar depression (47.6% vs 23.5%), fewer psychotic disorders (4.2% vs 16.3%), and substance use/misuse (1.4% vs 13.3%) than males. Males needed more psychiatric medication during evaluation (37.9% vs 19.2%).Conclusions: This survey of the profile of pediatric patients evaluated by a psychiatric service in an ED in Brazil was the first of its kind. The large percentage of patients referred for hospitalization highlights the importance of specialized psychiatry care for this age group in this facility, which is a common entry point for mental health care.
ObjectiveTo evaluate the quality of life and risk of psychopathology in the infant and adolescent offspring of psychiatric inpatients from a general hospital unit.MethodsOffspring (4–17 years old) of psychiatric inpatients were interviewed face-to-face and assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Interviews with caregivers and the hospitalized parents were also performed. The quality of life of the offspring, psychopathology of their hospitalized parents, and their current caregivers were investigated in order to evaluate any associations between these aspects and psychopathology in the offspring.ResultsThirty-four children of 25 patients were evaluated, 38.2% of which presented high risk for some type of psychopathology including hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder (38.2%), behavioral disorders (20.6%), and emotional disorders (17.6%). While only the minority of these children (17.6%) were already receiving mental health treatment, another 41.2% of them exhibited some degree of symptoms and were only referred for specialized assessment. Additionally, 61.8% of the children were reported to be suffering from some impairment in their quality of life.ConclusionThis preliminary study found a high rate of psychopathology in children of psychiatric inpatients. These results corroborate previous evidence that children and adolescents with parents with severe psychopathology are at high risk for developing mental disorders. Public policies and standard protocols of action directed to this population are urgently needed, especially for offspring of parents that are hospitalized in psychiatric in-patient units of general hospitals.
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