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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

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

Post-traumatic stress and related symptoms among juvenile detention residents: Results from intake screening

McNair, Felicia Debbra; Havens, Jennifer; Surko, Michael; Weinberger, Emily; Baetz, Carly; Moaveni, Mahtab; Bart, Amanda; Marr, Mollie; Quinlan, Carol; Horwitz, Sarah McCue
BACKGROUND:Juvenile justice-involved youth have high rates of trauma exposure, physical and sexual abuse and PTSD. Several factors have been found to be related to PTSD symptoms in youth including number and chronicity of traumatic events. OBJECTIVE:To simultaneously examine the relationships between allostatic load (defined here as number of traumatic experiences), poly-victimization (exposure to two or more forms of victimization based on 5 of the 6 categories in Ford et al.'s 2010 study), physical/sexual abuse and PTSD in justice-involved youth. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING/METHODS:The sample consisted of 1984 youth in juvenile detention in a Northeastern city. The sample was 73.4% male and the majority of youth were either African American or Hispanic. METHODS:Clinicians collected demographic and psychosocial information, and measured symptoms of PTSD, depression, and problematic substance use. RESULTS:Results showed that youth with more traumas, those who experienced poly-victimization and those who experienced physical/sexual assault/abuse were not only more likely to have PTSD, but also more likely to have depression, thoughts of suicide/self-harm, and problematic substance use (as indicated by the presence of 2 or more of 6 possible indicators). Poly-victimization was a stronger correlate of PTSD than number of traumas or physical/sexual assault/abuse. However, among youth with PTSD, number of traumas was associated with co-occurring problems while poly-victimization and physical/sexual assault/abuse were not. CONCLUSIONS:Findings can be used to help direct resources to juvenile justice-involved youth who are most in need of treatment.
PMID: 30903924
ISSN: 1873-7757
CID: 3763142

Does an Autism Spectrum Disorder Care Pathway Improve Care for Children and Adolescents with ASD in Inpatient Psychiatric Units?

Kuriakose, Sarah; Filton, Beryl; Marr, Mollie; Okparaeke, Eugene; Cervantes, Paige; Siegel, Matthew; Horwitz, Sarah; Havens, Jennifer
Youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are psychiatrically hospitalized at high rates. Though specialized psychiatric units are effective, few specialized units exist. The ASD Care Pathway (ASD-CP) was developed as a scalable approach to improving care in general psychiatric units through staff training and a package of autism-specific intervention strategies. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the ASD-CP in a public hospital child psychiatric service compared 18 months (n = 17) versus 18 months (n = 20) post implementation. Average length of hospital stay decreased 40% (22.4-13.4 days) and use of crisis interventions decreased 77% (holds/restraints; 0.65/day to 0.15/day), though each result only approached statistical significance (p = 0.07; 0.057). This study provides preliminary evidence for improved outcomes after implementation of an ASD-CP.
PMID: 29971653
ISSN: 1573-3432
CID: 3185622

The State of Emergency Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Raising the Bar

Mroczkowski, Megan M; Havens, Jennifer
The current state of emergency child and adolescent psychiatry includes common historical challenges to safe and effective care as well as recent innovations in multiple settings that increase the quality of that care. These include (1) enhancements within pediatric emergency departments (EDs), (2) specialized and dedicated child psychiatry emergency programs that are hospital based, (3) telepsychiatry programs that spread access to child psychiatric evaluation and treatment planning, and (4) community-based mobile programs diverting youth from EDs. Together, these highlight the work in North America over the past 5 years to improve the care of youth in psychiatric crisis.
PMID: 29933787
ISSN: 1558-0490
CID: 3158392

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

A clinical pathway for children with autism spectrum disorder in a general child psychiatry unit: Implementation and evaluation [Meeting Abstract]

Kuriakose, S; Filton, B; Marr, M; Osasah, V; Siegel, M; Havens, J
Objectives: This clinical perspectives session presents preliminary data on the outcomes of a clinical pathway (CP) for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disability (ID) who were hospitalized in a general child psychiatric unit at a public hospital. Methods: Children with ASD are at greater risk of psychiatric hospitalization than their neurotypical peers. Although care in specialized psychiatry units has preliminary evidence for positive outcomes, the vast majority of children in the United States are treated in general units that are not designed for this challenging population. Review of best practices and expert consensus was used to design and implement a CP in three child and adolescent inpatient units at Bellevue Hospital Center. Fidelity to the CP was examined by use of a checklist. Retrospective chart review was used to identify patients eligible for the CP in the 18 months before implementation and compare outcomes (mean length of stay, use of intramuscular medications, and use of restraint) of patients exposed to the CP in the first 18 months of implementation. Results: Treatment fidelity to the CP was acceptable based on checklist review. Record review identified over 70 patients with ASD who were admitted in the 18 months before implementation. Of these patients, approximately 50 percent met CP eligibility criteria. Outcomes for these admissions were compared with outcomes for 30 admissions to the CP. Preliminary analysis indicated improved outcomes post-CP implementation. Conclusions: Expert consensus has indicated that expanded, targeted admission assessment; basic supports for functional communication; predictable routines; developmentally appropriate milieu of activities, including physical activities; and increased density of positive reinforcement are critical elements for effective inpatient care of children with ASD or ID. The design and pilot implementation of a clinical pathway using these elements at Bellevue Hospital Center over 18 months showed that it is feasible to incorporate these principles in a general inpatient child psychiatry unit and may improve outcomes
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 2924262

Psychiatric crisis services for children and families: Mobilizing resources and thinking "outside the box" to meet community needs [Meeting Abstract]

Sowar, K; Havens, J
Objectives: The five presenters and discussant in this Clinical Perspectives highlight the challenges associated with pediatric psychiatric crises in standard emergency care settings. Each presenter will focus on a crisis care model that can address urgent patient needs, improve access to mental health care, and decrease unnecessary time or treatments in hospitals Methods: A literature review of pediatric mental health emergencies and crisis care systems will be provided. Each presenter will share her experience in creating, implementing, and/or practicing a particular crisis care model, including phone triage systems, mobile crisis clinics, and crisis stabilization and residential units. Presenters will discuss funding and community resources that have made such projects feasible and highlight key components of program development. Results: Communities and agencies are responding to increased emergent pediatric mental health needs by shifting treatment from standard emergency department settings to a continuum of team-based and nonhospital services. Each of the crisis care models included here has improved community access to behavioral health providers and helped triage children to more appropriate locations/programs of care. Data collected from individual sites indicate improved quality of care and interagency relationships, decreased length of stay or need for emergency department visits, increased outpatient follow-up, and decreased need for inpatient hospitalizations. Conclusions: Providing quality care to youth in mental health crises has become a challenge in our current health care system, with the decline of inpatient beds, lack of providers with mental health training, and limited access to community mental health services. A continuum of psychiatric crisis care services can better meet community and patient needs, thereby relieving burden on emergency departments and linking children and families to the services they need. More research on additional outcomes, as well as establishment of national standards of pediatric psychiatric crisis care, is needed
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 2924232

Teen Suicide: Fanning the Flames of a Public Health Crisis [Editorial]

Feuer, Vera; Havens, Jennifer
PMID: 28838574
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 2679142