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Admitted for an Eating Disorder: Challenges Clinical Psychologists Face in Working with Patients and Their Families on a Consultation-Liaison Service in a Tertiary Pediatric Hospital

Potthoff, L. M.; Palma, I. F.; Davidson, R. D.; Bujoreanu, I. S.; Thomson, K.

J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2020 Sep 5

Abstract

Eating disorders are one of the most common causes of pediatric hospitalizations due to primary mental health diagnoses. The purpose of this article is to discuss the challenges clinical psychologists face in working with patients with eating disorders and their families during medical admissions. Using the Psychiatry Consultation Service at a tertiary pediatric academic medical center in the Northeast as a framework, authors present the responsibilities of clinical psychologists on this service and their role within the larger, interdisciplinary team. Topics addressed also include systemic challenges, medical and psychiatric comorbidities, and differential psychiatric diagnoses. Case examples are provided to highlight various challenges as well as potential solutions and approaches. Clinical implications, limitations, and directions for future research are also discussed.

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