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Universal Suicide Risk Screening for Youths in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review

Cervantes, Paige E; Seag, Dana E M; Baroni, Argelinda; Gerson, Ruth; Knapp, Katrina; Tay, Ee Tein; Wiener, Ethan; Horwitz, Sarah McCue
OBJECTIVES/UNASSIGNED:To address escalating youth suicide rates, universal suicide risk screening has been recommended in pediatric care settings. The emergency department (ED) is a particularly important setting for screening. However, EDs often fail to identify and treat mental health symptoms among youths, and data on implementation of suicide risk screening in EDs are limited. A systematic review was conducted to describe the current literature on universal suicide risk screening in EDs, identify important gaps in available studies, and develop recommendations for strategies to improve youth screening efforts. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:A systematic literature search of PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science was conducted. Studies focused on universal suicide risk screening of youths served in U.S. EDs that presented screening results were coded, analyzed, and evaluated for reporting quality. Eleven studies were included. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:All screening efforts occurred in teaching or children's hospitals, and research staff administered suicide screens in eight studies. Thus scant information was available on universal screening in pediatric community ED settings. Large variation was noted across studies in participation rates (17%-86%) and in positive screen rates (4.1%-50.8%), although positive screen rates were influenced by type of presenting concern (psychiatric versus nonpsychiatric). Only three studies concurrently examined barriers to screening, providing little direction for effective implementation. STROBE guidelines were used to rate reporting quality, which ranged from 51.9% to 87.1%, with three studies having ratings over 80%. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Research is needed to better inform practice guidelines and clinical pathways and to establish sustainable screening programs for youths presenting for care in EDs.
PMID: 34106741
ISSN: 1557-9700
CID: 4899972

Friendly Faces: Characteristics of Children and Adolescents With Repeat Visits to a Specialized Child Psychiatric Emergency Program

Marr, Mollie; Horwitz, Sarah M; Gerson, Ruth; Storfer-Isser, Amy; Havens, Jennifer F
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Pediatric mental health emergency department (ED) visits continue to rise with 19% to 62% of youth presenting to the ED ultimately returning for a mental health-related complaint. To better understand the needs of children returning to the ED, this study examines the clinical, demographic, and environmental factors associated with revisits to a dedicated child psychiatric ED. METHODS:Clinical factors, home environment, and mental health service utilization of 885 children presenting to a dedicated child psychiatric ED over a 1-year period were abstracted by retrospective chart review. Bivariate analyses comparing demographic and clinical characteristics for children with and without revisits and a multivariable logistic regression were performed. RESULTS:Of the children presenting to the ED, 186 (21.0%) had at least 1 revisit in the subsequent 180 days. Thirty-one percent of initial visits presented as urgent, 55% presented as emergent. Children presenting with more severe symptoms at their initial visit were more likely to return within 6 months. Female gender, suicidal and disruptive behavioral symptomatology, and a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder were associated with repeat visits. Children with mental health system involvement were more likely to have revisits than those who were "treatment naive." CONCLUSIONS:Revisits to the ED are driven by both clinical factors, including severity and psychosocial complexity, and barriers to accessing services. Addressing the problem of return ED visits will require the development of a robust mental health service system that is accessible to children and families of all socioeconomic levels.
PMID: 29438124
ISSN: 1535-1815
CID: 2956152

What Is "High Risk" and What Are We Actually Supposed to Do About It? [Editorial]

Henderson, Schuyler W; Gerson, Ruth; Phillips, Blake
Regulatory agencies are increasingly taking on the important issue of effective risk assessment, risk stratification, and treatment planning for youth with psychiatric illness.1 The Joint Commission mandates a suicide assessment for patients "who exhibit suicidal behavior or who have screened positive for suicidal ideation" followed by risk stratification: after "this assessment, patients should be classified as high, medium or low risk of suicide."2 We anticipate that just as screening for depression and suicidality was initially restricted to emergency departments and inpatient units before being rolled out across all care settings, so risk stratification requirements will roll out to these other settings as well.
PMID: 31130207
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 4029512

Best Practices for Evaluation and Treatment of Agitated Children and Adolescents (BETA) in the Emergency Department: Consensus Statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry

Gerson, Ruth; Malas, Nasuh; Feuer, Vera; Prasad, Raghuram; Mroczkowski, Megan M; De Pena-Nowak, Maria; Gaveras, Georgia; Goepfert, Eric; Hartselle, Stephanie; Henderson, Schuyler W; Jhonsa, Anik; Kelly, Patrick; Mangini, Lynn; Maxwell, Benjamin; Prager, Laura; Silver, Gabrielle H
Introduction/UNASSIGNED:Agitation in children and adolescents in the emergency department (ED) can be dangerous and distressing for patients, family and staff. We present consensus guidelines for management of agitation among pediatric patients in the ED, including non-pharmacologic methods and the use of immediate and as-needed medications. Methods/UNASSIGNED:Using the Delphi method of consensus, a workgroup comprised of 17 experts in emergency child and adolescent psychiatry and psychopharmacology from the the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Emergency Child Psychiatry Committee sought to create consensus guidelines for the management of acute agitation in children and adolescents in the ED. Results/UNASSIGNED:Consensus found that there should be a multimodal approach to managing agitation in the ED, and that etiology of agitation should drive choice of treatment. We describe general and specific recommendations for medication use. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:These guidelines describing child and adolescent psychiatry expert consensus for the management of agitation in the ED may be of use to pediatricians and emergency physicians who are without immediate access to psychiatry consultation.
PMID: 30881565
ISSN: 1936-9018
CID: 3795682

Beyond PTSD : helping and healing teens exposed to trauma

Gerson, Ruth; Heppell, Patrick
Washington, DC : American Psychiatric Association Publishing, [2019]
Extent: 1 v.
ISBN: 1615371109
CID: 3305532

Teens and traumatic stress : a toxic combination

Chapter by: Gerson, Ruth
in: Beyond PTSD : helping and healing teens exposed to trauma by Gerson, Ruth; Heppell, Patrick (Eds)
Washington, DC : American Psychiatric Association Publishing, [2019]
pp. ?-?
ISBN: 1615371109
CID: 3305672

Psychosis and dissociation

Chapter by: Gerson, Ruth
in: Beyond PTSD : helping and healing teens exposed to trauma by Gerson, Ruth; Heppell, Patrick (Eds)
Washington, DC : American Psychiatric Association Publishing, [2019]
pp. ?-?
ISBN: 1615371109
CID: 3305722

Crisis in the Emergency Department: The Evaluation and Management of Acute Agitation in Children and Adolescents

Gerson, Ruth; Malas, Nasuh; Mroczkowski, Megan M
Acute agitation in children and adolescents in the emergency department carries significant risks to patients and staff and requires skillful management, using both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic strategies. Effective management of agitation requires understanding and addressing the multifactorial cause of the agitation. Careful observation and multidisciplinary collaboration is important. Medical work-up of agitated patients is also critical. Nonpharmacologic deescalation strategies should be first line for preventing and managing agitation and should continue during and after medication administration. Choice of medication should focus on addressing the cause of the agitation and any underlying psychiatric syndromes.
PMID: 29933788
ISSN: 1558-0490
CID: 3158402


Chapter by: Mandel, Rachel; Gerson, Ruth
in: A case-based approach to public psychiatry by Tse, Jeanie [Ed]; Volpp, Serena Yuan [Ed]
New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press, 2018
pp. 77-83
ISBN: 978-0-19-061099-9
CID: 3054562

Utilization Patterns at a Specialized Children's Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program

Gerson, Ruth; Havens, Jennifer; Marr, Mollie; Storfer-Isser, Amy; Lee, Mia; Rojas Marcos, Carolena; Liu, Michelle; Horwitz, Sarah McCue
OBJECTIVE: Most youths experiencing a psychiatric crisis present to emergency departments (EDs) that lack the specialized staff to evaluate them, so youths are often discharged without appropriate mental health assessment or treatment. To better understand the needs of this population, this study described clinical details and disposition associated with visits for psychiatric emergencies to a specialized ED staffed 24/7 by child psychiatrists. METHODS: Through retrospective chart review, 1,180 visits to the ED during its first year of operation were reviewed for clinical characteristics, prior service utilization, and demographic characteristics. Bivariate analyses (chi-square test and Wilcoxon rank sum test) compared differences in disposition (evaluate and release, brief stabilization, and inpatient psychiatric admission) associated with characteristics of the children's first visit (N=885). Measures with bivariate association of p<.10 were further assessed by using multinomial logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: For most visits (59%), children were evaluated and released, 13% were briefly stabilized, and 28% were admitted for psychiatric treatment. Youths with mood or psychotic disorders were more likely to be admitted, as were those with current suicidality or aggression. Many youths who presented with aggression were also identified as having suicidality or self-harm. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical factors, especially suicidality, predicted psychiatric admission. Admission rates for youths with suicidality were significantly higher in this study than previously reported, suggesting the availability of child psychiatrists in this ED allowed greater ascertainment of suicide risk (and thus hospitalization to mitigate that risk) than occurs in EDs without such staffing.
PMID: 28617206
ISSN: 1557-9700
CID: 2595162