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Pediatric Emergency Visits for Psychiatric Care Increasing, Study Finds

Posted on October 17, 2011

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A study recently presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference revealed rising rates of psychiatric care in hospital emergency departments for pediatric patients, especially those who are underinsured. A review the records of of 279 million pediatric patients seen in U.S. emergency departments found that the prevalence of patients seen for psychiatric reasons increased from 2.4 percent in 1999 to 3 percent in 2007. The number of underinsured patients among all pediatric patients seen in emergency departments also rose from 46 percent in 1999 to 54 percent in 2007. The authors attribute both increases to fewer treatment options and longer wait times for outpatient care for publicly insured pediatric patients.

A number of Schubert Center Faculty Associates study children’s mental health. Eileen Anderson-Fye of the Department of Anthropology studies eating and body image disorders among adolescents in Belize. Robert Findling of the School of Medicine conducts research on pediatric bipolar disorder. Download a policy brief on his research. Amy Przeworski of the Department of Psychological Sciences studies emotional eating and anxiety disorders in children. James Spilsbury of the School of Medicine researches the role of sleep disturbances and family violence on child mental health.

Read the Science Daily article on the study.

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