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Latest guide on child and adolescent psychiatry (7/12/2011)

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The 4th edition of the Concise Guide to Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, written by Children's Memorial Hospital's psychiatrists, Mina Dulcan, MD, and Mary Beth Lake, MD., was published in July by American Psychiatric Publishing. Dulcan is department head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Children's Memorial and professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lake is a child psychiatrist at Children's Memorial and associate professor at Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dulcan and Lake updated the handbook to guide mental health and pediatric clinicians and students, as well as professionals in education and juvenile justice, in recognizing and caring for children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders.

"The prevalence of mental illness is an astounding 20 percent of all U.S. youth ages 9 to 17," said Dulcan, former editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "With more than 10 million children and adolescents suffering from diagnosable psychiatric disorders, increased attention has focused on refining evaluation practices and enhancing treatment options to more effectively diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with development and quality of life."

Since the 2003 release of the third edition of Concise Guide to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, research on mental illness in children and the practical applications of this research have been evolving at a rapid pace. With these changes have come enhanced and more specific methods of assessment and treatment.

Topics covered in this text include:

  • The use of DSM-IV-TR for diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children and ways in which adult criteria can be adapted for use in young patients.
  • A review of how childhood psychological disorders often occur in combinations and require broad-spectrum rating scales to supplement the diagnostic process and help avoid overly narrow focus on the presenting problem.
  • New trends in treatment that include a consideration of biological factors, multimodal treatment approaches, multidisciplinary teams, and use of evidence-based therapy and medication interventions.
  • Identification of the strengths and vulnerabilities that are critical to treatment plans, such as the family's and the child's social environment, which includes school, neighborhood, and social support networks, all of which influence the choice of treatment strategy.

"This practical reference guide is a primer for beginners and an update for practicing professionals to address the emotional and behavioral problems faced by youth and families. It draws from both clinical experience and the most recent research in the field of child mental health," said Dulcan.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the Children's Memorial Hospital

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