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Developing a Clinical Pathway for Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders in Pediatric Hospital Settings

Ibeziako, P.; Brahmbhatt, K.; Chapman, A.; De Souza, C.; Giles, L.; Gooden, S.; Latif, F.; Malas, N.; Namerow, L.; Russell, R.; Steinbuchel, P.; Pao, M.; Plioplys, S.

Hosp Pediatr. 2019 Feb 21; 9(3):147-155


Somatic symptom and related disorders (SSRDs) are commonly encountered in pediatric hospital settings. There is, however, a lack of standardization of care across institutions for youth with these disorders. These patients are diagnostically and psychosocially complex, posing significant challenges for medical and behavioral health care providers. SSRDs are associated with significant health care use, cost to families and hospitals, and risk for iatrogenic interventions and missed diagnoses. With sponsorship from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and input from multidisciplinary stakeholders, we describe the first attempt to develop a clinical pathway and standardize the care of patients with SSRDs in pediatric hospital settings by a working group of pediatric consultation-liaison psychiatrists from multiple institutions across North America. The authors of the SSRD clinical pathway outline 5 key steps from admission to discharge and include practical, evidence-informed approaches to the assessment and management of children and adolescents who are medically hospitalized with SSRDs.

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