UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



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.

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This is a copy of an article published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology © 2005 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and available online at:

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DOI of Published Version



J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2005 Apr;15(2):302-10. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID