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Diagnoses and Treatment in Juvenile Detention Before and After Evaluation by Facility-Based Mental Health Service [Letter]

Whitney, Eric; McCue Horwitz, Sarah; Tedeschi, Frank; Alexander, Ava R; Baetz, Carly Lyn; Bart, Amanda L; Guo, Fei; Havens, Jennifer
As of 2018, more than 37,000 American youth were residing in juvenile detention or residential placement facilities.1 Prevalence studies have demonstrated high rates of psychiatric illness in this population, with estimates ranging from 50% to 75%.2
PMID: 35691600
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 5282432

Management of depression during the perinatal period: state of the evidence

Falek, Idan; Acri, Mary; Dominguez, Joanna; Havens, Jennifer; McCord, Mary; Sisco, Sarah; Wilcox, Wendy; Hoagwood, Kimberly
BACKGROUND:Perinatal depression (PND) is a prevalent ailment that affects both the woman and her family. Addressing PND in primary health care, such as pediatrics and obstetric care settings, has been proposed as an effective way to identify and treat women. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study is to examine best practices for management of PND in obstetric and pediatric settings, as well as investigate the evidence that supports the guidelines. METHODS:Guidelines were identified through a literature search and discussion with experts in the field of perinatal depression, while evidence was examined through a literature search of reviews and thereafter experimental studies. RESULTS:Twenty-five guidelines, across 17 organizations were retained for analysis. Findings suggest that there is little or varied guidance on the management of PND, as well as a lack of specificity. Treatment was the topic most frequently reported, followed by screening. However best practices vary greatly and often contradict one another. Across all areas, there is inadequate or contrasting evidence to support these guidelines. CONCLUSIONS:Although there was consensus on the key steps in the pathway to care, the review revealed lack of consensus across guidelines on specific issues relating to identification and management of depression during the perinatal period. Clinicians may use these recommendations to guide their practice, but they should be aware of the limitations of the evidence supporting these guidelines and remain alert to new evidence. There is a clear need for researchers and policymakers to prioritize this area in order to develop evidence-based guidelines for managing perinatal depression.
PMID: 35468808
ISSN: 1752-4458
CID: 5217322

Editorial: From Bipolar Disorder to DMDD: Challenges to Diagnostic and Treatment Specificity in Traumatized Youths [Editorial]

Havens, Jennifer F; Marr, Mollie C; Hirsch, Emily
This valuable contribution by Findling et al. reports on trends in diagnostic patterns since the inclusion of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) in the DSM-5. As the authors note, the introduction of the DMDD diagnosis was designed to address the problematic over-diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the associated rise in antipsychotic and polypharmacy use in youths.1 Using a large, national, electronic health record database (n = 14,157), this study showed a clear increase in the treated prevalence of DMDD from 2016 to 2018 (0.08-0.35%, p < .0001) coupled with a decrease in the treated prevalence of bipolar disorder from 2015 to 2018 (0.42%-0.36%, p < .0001).1 This suggests that the introduction of DMDD did seem to achieve the aim of reducing the rates of bipolar diagnoses. In what is discouraging but not surprising news, the study demonstrates a troubling increase in the use of antipsychotics (58.9% DMDD vs 51.0% bipolar disorder) and polypharmacy in the DMDD cohort compared to the bipolar disorder cohort (45.0% DMDD vs 37.4% bipolar disorder).1.
PMID: 34363964
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 5006042

Trauma Exposure and Suicidality in a Pediatric Emergency Psychiatric Population

Marr, Mollie C; Gerson, Ruth; Lee, Mia; Storfer-Isser, Amy; Horwitz, Sarah M; Havens, Jennifer F
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The increasing rates of depression and suicidality in children and adolescents are reflected in the increasing number of mental health-related visits to emergency departments. Despite the high rates of traumatic exposure experienced by high-acuity children and adolescents and a known link to suicidal ideation, the systematic review of trauma history is not a consistent part of emergency department assessments for suicide ideation or attempt. In the present study, we examined the prevalence of suicidality as well as traumatic exposures in children and adolescents presenting to a dedicated pediatric psychiatric emergency department. METHODS:Suicide ideation, suicide attempts, and trauma exposure history were identified through a retrospective chart review of youth (n = 861) who presented to a dedicated child psychiatric emergency department during a 1-year period. Bivariate analyses comparing demographic and trauma history for children with and without suicidality and a multivariable logistic regression were performed. RESULTS:Childhood adversity was common, with 52% of youth reporting at least one type of trauma exposure. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse/assault were associated with suicidality. Any trauma exposure and the total number of different trauma exposures were associated with reported suicide attempt. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, children who reported a history of emotional abuse had 3.2-fold increased odds of attempted suicide. Children who reported a history of being a victim of bullying had 1.9-fold increased odds of current suicidal ideation. CONCLUSIONS:Traumatic experiences were common in youth presenting with suicidality. Traumatic experiences are frequently underrecognized in treatment settings because they are not part of routine evaluations and are often overlooked when trauma-related symptoms are not the presenting problem. Addressing traumatic experiences underlying depression and suicidal ideation is a necessary step in effective treatment. Emergency departments need to implement routine screening for traumatic exposures in children presenting with suicidal ideation or attempt.
PMID: 35100769
ISSN: 1535-1815
CID: 5153382

Agitation and Restraint in a Pediatric Psychiatric Emergency Program: Clinical Characteristics and Diagnostic Correlates

Agraharkar, Shilpa; Horwitz, Sarah; Lewis, Kristen; Goldstein, Gabriella; Havens, Jennifer; Gerson, Ruth
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Agitation and restraint among pediatric psychiatric patients are a frequent, yet little studied, source of morbidity and, rarely, mortality in the emergency department (ED). This study examined agitation and restraint among youth patients in a specialized pediatric psychiatric ED, considering clinical and sociodemographic characteristics of those who required restraint to determine the clinical correlates of agitation and restraint in this population. METHODS:This descriptive study was a 6-year retrospective chart review of all patients restrained for acute agitation. Demographics, clinical characteristics, diagnoses, and reasons for restraint were collected. Relationships between sociodemographic and clinical variables to types of restraints used were examined, along with change over the study period in rate of and mean time in restraint. RESULTS:The average restraint rate was 1.94%, which remained fairly consistent throughout study period, although average time in restraint decreased significantly. Restraints were more common in males. Adolescents were overrepresented in the ED population, and after controlling for this, restraint rates were similar in adolescents and younger children. Physical aggression was the most frequent precipitant, although among adolescents verbal aggression was also a precipitant (more so than in younger children). Disruptive behavior disorder diagnoses were most frequently associated with restraint. CONCLUSIONS:A lower rate of restraint is reported here than has been seen in programs where youths are treated in medical or adult psychiatric EDs. Hospitals without specialized pediatric psychiatric emergency programs should invest in staff training in deescalation techniques and in access to pediatric psychiatric treatment. The finding that, of youth restrained, a significant proportion were under 12 years old and/or carried diagnoses not typically associated with aggressive behavior, indicates that crisis prevention, management, and treatment should include younger populations and diverse diagnostic groups, rather than focusing narrowly on older patients with psychotic or substance use disorders.
PMID: 34908377
ISSN: 1535-1815
CID: 5108542

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

Staff Perceptions and Implementation Fidelity of an Autism Spectrum Disorder Care Pathway on a Child/Adolescent General Psychiatric Inpatient Service

Donnelly, Lauren J; Cervantes, Paige E; Okparaeke, Eugene; Stein, Cheryl R; Filton, Beryl; Kuriakose, Sarah; Havens, Jennifer; Horwitz, Sarah M
While youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are psychiatrically hospitalized at high rates, general psychiatric settings are not designed to meet their unique needs. Previous evaluations of an ASD-Care Pathway (ASD-CP) on a general psychiatric unit revealed sustained reductions in crisis interventions (intramuscular medication use, holds/restraints; Cervantes et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 49(8):3173-3180,, 2019; Kuriakose et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 48(12):4082-4089,, 2018). The current study investigated staff perceptions of the ASD-CP (N = 30), and examined rates of ASD-CP implementation fidelity in relation to patient outcomes (N = 28). Staff identified visual communication aids and reward strategies as most helpful. The number of days of reward identification early in the inpatient stay was associated with fewer crisis interventions later in a patient's stay.
PMID: 32394312
ISSN: 1573-3432
CID: 4438022

Changes in Attitudes and Knowledge after Trainings in a Clinical Care Pathway for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Donnelly, Lauren J; Cervantes, Paige E; Guo, Fei; Stein, Cheryl R; Okparaeke, Eugene; Kuriakose, Sarah; Filton, Beryl; Havens, Jennifer; Horwitz, Sarah M
Caring for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be complicated, especially when challenging behaviors are present. Providers may feel unprepared to work with these individuals because specialized training for medical and social service providers is limited. To increase access to specialized training, we modified an effective half-day ASD-Care Pathway training (Kuriakose et al. 2018) and disseminated it within five different settings. This short, focused training on strategies for preventing and reducing challenging behaviors of patients with ASD resulted in significant improvements in staff perceptions of challenging behaviors, increased comfort in working with the ASD population, and increased staff knowledge for evidence-informed practices. Implications, including the impact of sociodemographic characteristics on pre/post changes, and future directions are discussed.
PMID: 33201422
ISSN: 1573-3432
CID: 5086822

Sustainability of a Care Pathway for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder on an Inpatient Psychiatric Service

Cervantes, Paige; Kuriakose, Sarah; Donnelly, Lauren; Filton, Beryl; Marr, Mollie; Okparaeke, Eugene; Voorheis, Katherine; Havens, Jennifer; Horwitz, Sarah
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are frequently hospitalized within general psychiatric settings, which are not usually designed to meet their needs. An initial evaluation of a care pathway developed for youth with ASD receiving services in a general psychiatric inpatient unit (ASD-CP) showed promise in improving outcomes while using few resources (Kuriakose et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 48:4082-4089, 2018). As sustainability of inpatient psychiatric initiatives is imperative but rarely investigated, this study examined the stability of ASD-CP outcomes during an 18-month follow-up period (n = 15) compared to the 18-month initial evaluation (n = 20) and 18-month pre-implementation (n = 17) periods. Decreased use of crisis interventions, including holds/restraints and intramuscular medication use, was sustained in the 18 months after the initial implementation period. Implications and limitations are discussed.
PMID: 31065864
ISSN: 1573-3432
CID: 3908872

Impact of a Trauma-Informed Intervention for Youth and Staff on Rates of Violence in Juvenile Detention Settings

Baetz, Carly Lyn; Surko, Michael; Moaveni, Mahtab; McNair, Felicia; Bart, Amanda; Workman, Sara; Tedeschi, Frank; Havens, Jennifer; Guo, Fei; Quinlan, Carol; Horwitz, Sarah McCue
The majority of youth in the juvenile justice system have experienced multiple traumatic events in their lives, including community violence, physical abuse, neglect, and traumatic loss. These high prevalence rates, coupled with the known negative consequences of trauma in childhood and adolescence, have led to a greater emphasis on implementing trauma-informed services and practices within juvenile justice settings. However, although many stakeholders and government entities have expressed support for creating more trauma-informed juvenile justice systems, there is still limited empirical knowledge about which interventions are most effective at improving outcomes, particularly at the organizational or facility level. In an effort to fill this gap, the current study evaluated the impact of a trauma-informed milieu intervention, including skills training for youth and training for staff, on rates of violence at two secure juvenile detention facilities (N = 14,856) located in a large Northeastern city. The analyses revealed that the intervention was significantly related to a reduction of violent incidents in Facility A, with no impact on incidents in Facility B. Follow-up analyses revealed that a larger proportion of eligible youth in Facility A completed the skills group program as compared with eligible youth in Facility B (16% vs. 9%). This finding has important implications for the implementation of trauma-informed interventions for youth in juvenile detention settings, as it suggests that to impact outcomes at the facility level, a minimum threshold of youth may need to be exposed to the intervention. In addition, reductions in violence at Facility A were only realized after both staff training and youth skills components were implemented, suggesting that both components are necessary to create change at the facility level. Future research is needed to further explore the impact of organizational and implementation-level factors on trauma-informed care outcomes in juvenile justice settings.
PMID: 31253054
ISSN: 1552-6518
CID: 4009982