Department of Pediatrics; Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Adolescent; Adult; Child; Female; Humans; Male; Mental Disorders; Pilot Projects; Psychotropic Drugs; Residential Treatment; Retrospective Studies
Pediatrics | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
The primary aim of this pilot study was to ascertain if psychiatric medications could be reduced in a convenience sample of seriously emotionally disturbed children and adolescents over the course of residential treatment. We also sought to understand factors correlated with reduction in the number of medications during treatment. A review of the treatment of 141 patients (n = 112 admitted on medication and n = 29 admitted on no medication) admitted to, and discharged from, a residential treatment setting between 1992 and 2001 was undertaken. Significantly more children were discharged from treatment on no medications than were admitted to residential treatment on no medications. In children receiving more than 1 medication at admission, the number of combined medications was significantly reduced over the course of residential treatment. However, the majority of children admitted on medications continued on some psychiatric medications, indicating that psychopharmacology continued to play an important role in their treatment. In 112 patients admitted on psychoactive medications, our pilot data suggests that improvement in externalizing, internalizing, psychotic, and autistic psychopathology while in residential treatment, the presence of an intact family (adoptive or biological), the absence of a history of either sexual or physical abuse, and the type of medication used appear to be factors that correlate with a reduced use of medications in this population.