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The Behavioral Health Needs of Youth With Preexisting Psychiatric Disorders in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Rice, Timothy; Reliford, Aaron; Calov, Chiara; Rodriguez, James
Children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders are a sizable population of children and youth with special health care needs. While the capabilities of behavioral health resources to meet these youth's needs were already strained, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic extended resource limitations just as this subgroup of children and youth with special health care needs faced new stressors and potential exacerbations of their underlying psychiatric illnesses. In this article, we provide a brief narrative review of the factors' manifestations with an emphasis upon their disproportionate impact upon children of color and their families and particularly those from disadvantaged communities. We proceed to provide policy proposals for addressing these disparities. These include raising reimbursement for behavioral health services, increasing telehealth care delivery, reducing inter-state licensing requirements, increasing community-based services, and addressing social determinants of health. Conclusions and directions for strengthening behavioral health service delivery capabilities and addressing systemic injustices are made.
PMID: 36347759
ISSN: 1532-656x
CID: 5357252

Holding Space for Facilitated Dialogues on Antiracism in Academic Medicine [Letter]

Reliford, Aaron; Berry, Obianuju O; Burgos, Junior Javier; Liaw, K Ron-Li
The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges and renewed focus on racial disparities and inequities in the United States. For racial and ethnic minority groups, and in particular African Americans, racial disparities have been a constant presence and threat from the time of slavery through the present day. These racial disparities, sanctioned and maintained by institutional racism, manifest in all aspects of life for African Americans-segregated and unequal education and housing systems, health and mental health care disparities, disproportionally elevated incarceration rates, and, as painfully highlighted this past year, continued vulnerability to acts of violence at the hands of law enforcement. In addition, most recently, there has been a renewed focus on the increased suicide rate for Black youth and its relationship to these racial disparities.1 In a large urban environment, our academic Child Psychiatry Department recognized that progress toward addressing racial disparities would be impeded without raising awareness and taking individual and collective action to identify implicit bias, power, and privilege differentials, and systemic racism inherent within academic medicine and our own lived experiences. This letter describes the development of such examination through facilitated dialogues on race and antiracism in our department.
PMID: 35364252
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 5206102


Reliford, A O
Objectives: The history of racial discrimination against African American (AfAm) and Black people in the United States is deeply rooted in the history of this country. This presentation will help participants understand the intersection between racism, structural racism, and subsequent hardships as it relates to the AfAm youth's experience of discrimination. This presentation will also help participants learn practical approaches for exploring issues of discrimination with AfAm patients.
Method(s): The presenter will review the history of racial discrimination toward AfAm groups in the United States and give an overview of common experiences of discrimination for AfAm youth. Additionally, using the models of adolescent development of Erik Erikson, William Cross, James Marcia, and Beverly Tatum, the presenter will describe how racial prejudice impacts adolescent socialization and (racial) identity development, and the risk that this may confer for mental illness. Finally, the presenter will offer clinical pearls for clinicians to explore topics of racial and religious prejudice with AfAm patients.
Result(s): For AfAms, racism, segregation, and the resultant impacts on self-esteem and identity have been a constant reality and threat from the time of slavery through the present day. These brutal institutions, sanctioned and maintained by institutional racism, clearly manifest in all aspects of life for African Americans-segregated and unequal education system and housing, healthcare disparities, mental healthcare disparities, disproportionally elevated incarceration rates, and as painfully highlighted this past year, continued vulnerability to acts of violence at the hands of law enforcement. These disastrous long-term consequences have been documented and are clear. However, the experience of Black youth, introduced to these harsh realities over time, has strong implications during crucial periods of development, including physical, emotional, and identity development.
Conclusion(s): There is benefit for clinicians to incorporate exploration of the impact of racial discrimination, although it is challenging, in the evaluation and treatment of AfAm and Black youth. DEI, DEV, ADOL
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 5024302


Reliford, A O; Ron-Li, Liaw K; Berry, O O; Burgos, J J
Objectives: There is a significant and urgent need across psychiatry and other academic medicine departments to design, create, and execute effective dialogues on race, while examining unconscious bias and privilege. The overarching goal of facilitated dialogue is to create a safe space for faculty, staff, and trainees of different racial backgrounds to engage in meaningful dialogue that helps all develop an antiracist approach to their work and lives.
Method(s): Based on the literature and the findings of a departmental needs assessment survey that we designed, we developed clear learning objectives, community norms, an 8-month curriculum, facilitator training and supervision, mixed-race dialogue group composition and logistics, and continuous improvement and comprehensive program evaluation. The curriculum covered topics spanning social identity, power and privilege, bias and discrimination, microaggressions, historical and structural racism, current events, cultural formulation and application to practice, allyship, and antiracism stance and action. Each facilitated dialogue session incorporated antiracist readings, videos, podcasts, immersive activities, and interactive group discussion.
Result(s): A total of 114 department faculty, staff, and trainees completed the antiracism education needs assessment survey. Ten clinical leaders were trained to serve as dialogue facilitators. Ninety-seven faculty, staff, and trainees from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds opted to participate, and 179 learner experience surveys were collected from October 2020 to January 2021. At least 94% of respondents felt engaged, safe in the dialogue environment, learned key antiracism concepts, and learned tools on how to take an antiracist stance in their work and lives.
Conclusion(s): Our curriculum, process, and facilitators have successfully addressed our goals of creating a safe space to discuss experiences with race and racism, staying open to the experiences of others, being open to new ways of viewing race, and furthermore use this new perspective to adopt an antiracist stance in their lives. Our workshop format is designed to help participants understand our process and to think through creating their own dialogues. It involves a mix of instructive and highly interactive activities, performed through breakouts and debriefings. AC, DEI, REST
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 5024272


Furer, Tzvi; Reliford, Aaron O.; Waugh, Whitney; Shatkin, Jess P.
ISSN: 0890-8567
CID: 4685592


Furer, Tzvi; Henderson, Schuyler W.; Stein, Cheryl; Waugh, Whitney; Reliford, Aaron O.
ISSN: 0890-8567
CID: 4685572

Use of Telepsychiatry in Pediatric Emergency Room to Decrease Length of Stay for Psychiatric Patients, Improve Resident On-Call Burden, and Reduce Factors Related to Physician Burnout

Reliford, Aaron; Adebanjo, Blessing
Background: Our study aims to demonstrate through implementation of telepsychiatry for child psychiatry patients evaluated in the pediatric emergency room (PedsER); we can reduce length of stay (LOS) and reduce factors contributing to physician burnout through reduction of on-call travel burden.Introduction: Telepsychiatry has increased access to health care using real-time interactive videoconferencing, allowing clinicians and patients in separate locations to have a meaningful clinical encounter. Use has increased over the past several years given cost reduction and need for psychiatric specialty services in under-resourced systems.Materials and Methods: We evaluated data regarding child psychiatry fellow use of telepsychiatry through a prospective real-time questionnaire filled out by the on-call clinician from July 1, 2017 to December 23, 2017 (study period). LOS was measured from the patient's registration time through time of discharge.Results: Telepsychiatry significantly reduced the total monthly LOS for nonhospitalized patients in the PedsER during the study period compared to all prior months (285-193 h; p = 0.032) and compared to a similar prior seasonal time frame (329-193 h; p = 0.017). Telepsychiatry use reduced travel for face-to-face evaluations by 75% and saved 2.22 h per call day.Discussion: Unique in this study is enhancing on-site psychiatric consultation in the emergency room, rather than solving a systems issue of referring out for psychiatric consultation. Moreover, this study uniquely demonstrated a noted improvement in on-call physician travel burden by reducing travel time with telepsychiatry. Physician burnout is notably high during residency training. Factors such as telepsychiatry can improve work efficiency and lend time to activities outside of work, mitigating the onset of this challenging issue.Conclusions: Telepsychiatry was shown to be effective in reducing dwell time and improving on-call burden. This study also showed promise in our system for improving access to other forms of specialized care consultation in PedsER settings.
PMID: 30379635
ISSN: 1556-3669
CID: 4100542

Negative and distorted attributions towards child, self, and primary attachment figure among posttraumatically stressed mothers: what changes with Clinician Assisted Videofeedback Exposure Sessions (CAVES)

Schechter, Daniel S; Moser, Dominik A; Reliford, Aaron; McCaw, Jaime E; Coates, Susan W; Turner, J Blake; Serpa, Sandra Rusconi; Willheim, Erica
This study found that within a non-referred community pediatrics clinic sample, the severity of mothers' trauma-related psychopathology, in particular, their interpersonal violence-related (IPV) posttraumatic stress, dissociative, and depressive symptoms predicted the degree of negativity of mothers' attributions towards their preschool age children, themselves, and their own primary attachment figure. Results also showed that mothers with IPV-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as compared to non-PTSD controls showed a significantly greater degree of negativity of their attributions toward their child, themselves and their primary attachment figure during childhood. The study finally found a significant reduction in the degree of negativity of mothers' attributions only towards their child following a three-session evaluation-protocol that included a form of experimental intervention entitled the "Clinician Assisted Videofeedback Exposure Session(s)" (CAVES), for mothers with IPV-PTSD as compared to control-subjects.
PMID: 24553738
ISSN: 1573-3327
CID: 2736662

Improving support of residents after a patient suicide: a residency case study

Mangurian, Christina; Harre, Elizabeth; Reliford, Aaron; Booty, Andrew; Cournos, Francine
PMID: 19690104
ISSN: 1545-7230
CID: 3184072