(1/1526) Use of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist to screen for psychosocial problems in pediatric primary care: a national feasibility study.

BACKGROUND: Routine use of a brief psychosocial screening instrument has been proposed as a means of improving recognition, management, and referral of children's psychosocial morbidity in primary care. OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of routine psychosocial screening using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) in pediatrics by using a brief version of the checklist in a large sample representative of the full range of pediatric practice settings in the United States and Canada. We evaluated large-scale screening and the performance of the PSC in detecting psychosocial problems by (1) determining whether the prevalence of psychosocial dysfunction identified by the PSC was consistent with findings in previous, smaller samples; (2) assessing whether the prevalence of positive PSC screening scores varied by population subgroups; and (3) determining whether the PSC was completed by a significant proportion of parents from all subgroups and settings. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-one thousand sixty-five children between the ages of 4 and 15 years were seen in 2 large primary care networks: the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network and the Pediatric Research in Office Settings network, involving 395 pediatric and family practice clinicians in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and 4 Canadian provinces. Parents were asked to complete a brief questionnaire that included demographic information, history of mental health services, the 35-item PSC, and the number of pediatric visits within the past 6 months. RESULTS: The overall prevalence rates of psychosocial dysfunction as measured by the PSC in school-aged and preschool-aged pediatric outpatients (13% and 10%, respectively) were nearly identical to the rates that had been reported in several smaller samples (12%-14% among school-aged children and 7%-14% among preschoolers). Consistent with previous findings, children from low-income families were twice as likely to be scored as dysfunctional on the PSC than were children from higher-income families. Similarly, children from single-parent as opposed to those from 2-parent families and children with a past history of mental health services showed an elevated risk of psychosocial impairment. The current study was the first to demonstrate a 50% increase in risk of impairment for male children. The overall rate of completed forms was 97%, well within an acceptable range, and at least 94% of the parents in each sociodemographic subgroup completed the PSC form. CONCLUSIONS: Use of the PSC offers an approach to the recognition of psychosocial dysfunction that is sufficiently consistent across groups and locales to become part of comprehensive pediatric care in virtually all outpatient settings. In addition to its clinical utility, the consistency and widespread acceptability of the PSC make it well suited for the next generation of pediatric mental health services research, which can address whether earlier recognition of and intervention for psychosocial problems in pediatrics will lead to cost-effective outcomes.  (+info)

(2/1526) The Montefiore community children's project: a controlled study of cognitive and emotional problems of homeless mothers and children.

OBJECTIVES: This study compares the prevalence of emotional, academic, and cognitive impairment in children and mothers living in the community with those living in shelters for the homeless. METHOD: In New York City, 82 homeless mothers and their 102 children, aged 6 to 11, recruited from family shelters were compared to 115 nonhomeless mothers with 176 children recruited from classmates of the homeless children. Assessments included standardized tests and interviews. RESULTS: Mothers in shelters for the homeless showed higher rates of depression and anxiety than did nonhomeless mothers. Boys in homeless shelters showed higher rates of serious emotional and behavioral problems. Both boys and girls in homeless shelters showed more academic problems than did nonhomeless children. CONCLUSION: Study findings suggest a need among homeless children for special attention to academic problems that are not attributable to intellectual deficits in either children or their mothers. Although high rates of emotional and behavioral problems characterized poor children living in both settings, boys in shelters for the homeless may be particularly in need of professional attention.  (+info)

(3/1526) Measuring intermediate outcomes of violence prevention programs targeting African-American male youth: an exploratory assessment of the psychometric properties of six psychosocial measures.

This study examined the psychometric properties of six psychosocial measures that may be useful indicators of intermediate outcomes of violence prevention programs targeting African-American male youth. Baseline and 6 month follow-up survey data are used from 223 African-American male 12-16 year olds participating in a violence prevention program evaluation study. The constructs of interest are beliefs supporting aggression, aggressive conflict-resolution style, hostility, ethnic identity, self-esteem and hopelessness. Each construct is measured as a multi-item scale. Exploratory factor analysis results provided limited support for the unidimensionality of these scales, thus suggesting that further scale development is warranted. Reliability coefficients for the scales ranged from 0.55 to 0.80. Bivariate analyses with baseline data indicate that all six measures have construct and criterion-related validity, as they are associated with each other and with four behavioral criteria in the expected directions. Predictive validity was also demonstrated for beliefs supporting aggression, aggressive conflict-resolution style, hostility and hopelessness which were associated with weapon-carrying behaviors measured in the 6 month follow-up survey both before and after controlling for corresponding behaviors measured in the baseline survey.  (+info)

(4/1526) Long-term neurological dysfunction and neonatal hypoglycaemia after diabetic pregnancy.

AIM: To determine if children born to mothers with diabetes mellitus during pregnancy, who subsequently developed neonatal hypoglycaemia, experienced long-term neurological dysfunction. METHODS: Thirteen children with, and 15 without, neonatal hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 1.5 mmol/l) were randomly selected from a larger cohort and investigated at the age of 8 years. They were also compared with 28 age matched healthy controls. RESULTS: Children with neonatal hypoglycaemia had significantly more difficulties in a validated screening test for minimal brain dysfunction than controls and were also more often reported to be hyperactive, impulsive, and easily distracted. On psychological assessment, they had a lower total development score than normoglycaemic children born to diabetic mothers, and control children. CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal hypoglycaemia in diabetic pregnancy was associated with long-term neurological dysfunction related to minimal brain dysfunction/deficits in attention, motor control, and perception.  (+info)

(5/1526) Does illness experience influence the recall of medical information?

Recall of a storyboard description of an unfamiliar illness was assessed in 66 healthy children and 40 children with chronic illness (cystic fibrosis or asthma). A significant interaction between verbal intelligence quotient and illness experience (p < 0.001) suggested that more able sick children may be resistant to learning new medical information.  (+info)

(6/1526) Health-related quality of life (HRQOL), activity of daily living (ADL) and depressive mood disorder in temporal lobe epilepsy patients.

We determined the interrelations of chronological age, age at seizure onset, duration of seizure disorder, cognitive functioning (IQ), scales of activities of daily living, depressive mood disorder and measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Furthermore, we investigated the association of the laterality of seizure onset zone and absence/presence of hippocampal atrophy and/or sclerosis (HA/HS) with measures of HRQOL, activities of daily living (ADL) and depressive mood disorder. In the setting of pre-surgical epilepsy evaluation, a sample of 56 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) was studied using the Bonner Skalen fur Epilepsie (BPSE) and the depression inventory D-S of von Zerssen. Patients reported high levels of dependency on others and poor coping capabilities. Our data also showed specific ADL-behaviour suggesting social withdrawal and isolation. Our results indicate emotional impairment as a major problem in TLE, because 45% of our patients scored in the depressive range of the D-S depression scale. Depression score was found to be a powerful predictor of self-reported quality of life after adjusting for seizure-related variables, demographic variables and cognitive functioning (IQ). The only scale showing a significant laterality effect was ADL-home. No relationship between the dependent measures of HRQOL, ADL-social, ADL-cultural, depressive mood disorder and laterality of the epileptogenic zone or absence/presence of HA/HS was found. HRQOL and depressive mood disorder are strongly interrelated indicating that patients with depressive symptoms report lower quality of life and specific patterns of ADL. HRQOL, ADL and depressive mood disorder are largely independent of biological markers such as laterality of seizure onset zone and absence/presence of HA/HS in TLE.  (+info)

(7/1526) Behavioral testing as a method for assessing risk.

Behavioral effects have been found to result from the prenatal administration of substances known to be teratogenic to the CNS. These effects occur at dose levels lower than those producing gross malformations and when the agent is administered at times other than that optimal for CNS relevant technique for detecting adverse consequences of prenatal exposure to drugs and chemicals. Behavioral testing, however, also appears to have attributes that dictate a thoughtful approach to its role as a method for assessing risk, and additional research is needed to obtain usable techniques. The need for such research is intensified by the present inability to identify potential behavioral teratogens by means other than laboratory investigation.  (+info)

(8/1526) Neuropsychological sequelae of haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Investigators of the HUS Cognitive Study.

BACKGROUND: Severe haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in childhood can cause stroke, hemiplegia, cortical blindness, and psychomotor retardation. These outcomes are evident at the time of discharge immediately after the acute illness. Less is known about the neuropsychological outcomes of less severely affected children who recover from acute HUS. AIMS: This multicentre case control study investigated the hypothesis that children who survive an acute episode of HUS without recognizable neurological injuries have greater impairment of cognitive, academic, and behavioural functions than controls. DESIGN: Children with HUS were eligible if they had no evidence of severe neurological dysfunction when discharged from one of six Canadian hospitals. Controls had been admitted to hospital for a non-HUS illness and were matched by age, sex, first language, and socioeconomic status. All subjects underwent evaluation of behaviour, academic achievement, cognitive function, and verbal abilities using standardised tests administered by a psychometrist blinded to the case or control status. RESULTS: Ninety-one case control pairs were enrolled. No important differences between patients with HUS and paired controls were evident on tests of IQ, behaviour, verbal abilities, or academic achievement. There was no increased risk of attention deficit disorder among patients with HUS. There was no correlation between the severity of acute renal failure and neuropsychological measures, although scores on some verbal ability tests were lower in those with the highest serum creatinine concentrations during illness. CONCLUSIONS: Children discharged from hospital without apparent neurological injury after an episode of acute HUS do not have an increased risk of subclinical problems with learning, behaviour, or attention.  (+info)