Analysis of Adolescent Patients in the Inpatient Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Service at C. S. Mott Children's Hospital : Psychological Perspective for Primary Care Physicians
Sullivan, Sarah K.
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To address somatic and psychosomatic ramifications of medical conditions, patients and families are referred to a hospital's inpatient pediatric consultation-liaison (IPPCL) service for psychological consultations/interventions. The current study examines the ways in which referred adolescents (11 to 21 years of age) differ from children (<1 to 10 years of age) in their diagnoses, referrals, and treatments through extensive analysis of the IPPCL database at C. S. Mott Children's Hospital. The sample (N = 550) included all pediatric psychology consults between the dates of October 2011 and August 2013. Gastrointestinal disorders and pain concerns were significant diagnoses in adolescents, while transplant-related issues were more common in children. With regard to consultations, adolescents were more often the subjects of the consultation (as opposed to the parent/family). Adolescents spent significantly less time with a psychologist per visit, but were more likely to be a repeat consult than children. Adolescents were more likely to be referred for issues with depression and physical symptoms, and more often received child-directed problem-focused coping interventions. The results support the hypothesis that adolescents present unique medical and psychological challenges to medical teams in a hospital. A greater understanding of these challenges will help health providers improve the care and treatment of the adolescent population.