COVID-19: Screening, Updates, Visitor Policy

For Providers

A recent study has shown that during over 30% of Pediatric visits parents or children have general complaints of emotional and/or behavioral symptoms. We understand that there is nothing more “primary” to primary care in Children and Adolescents than mood lability, behavioral problems, attention/concentration issues, and anxiety.

With the need for psychiatric care and services ever expanding it is a goal of our clinic and division to aid primary care providers in providing care for some of these disturbances without the need for a referral to specialty care…and to provide those patients that have proved themselves beyond the scope of primary care treatment expedited access to therapy and/or medication management within our clinic.

The Child and Adolescent Outpatient clinic has assembled a “toolbox” below in an attempt to help providers know when to treat, how to treat, and when to refer. We hope that it proves useful in your practice.

  • Bright Futures Mental Health Practice Guide
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Behavioral Disturbances

If your patient is in immediate danger and is threatening harm to himself/herself or others, please advise the caregivers to take the patient to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. MUSC has Pediatric Emergency Services that can help.

Depression

Depression is a very common disorder in children and adolescents. Literature has shown that children and adolescents respond very well to treatment for depression in the primary care setting. Basic behavioral activation techniques, improvements in nutrition, sleep, and exercise, and antidepressant medications can have a profound effect on children and adolescents with mild to moderate depression.

Screening for depression at each well child visit has been shown to be a good way to track a patient’s depressive symptoms over time.

For Referral to MUSC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services please fill out the linked form and fax to 843-792-5598

More About Referrals

Anxiety

Anxiety symptoms are some of the most common medical symptoms across all patient demographics. Studies show that 1 in 4 children and adolescents will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder at some point in the childhood and adolescent years. Studies also show that anxiety in this population can be improved significantly by basic behavioral activation, easy desensitization models, optimizing nutrition, exercise, and sleep patterns, and the use of SSRI medications.

Screening for anxiety at each well child visit has been shown to be a good way to track a patient’s anxiety symptoms over time.

For Referral to MUSC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services please fill out the linked form and fax to (843)-792-5598

ADHD

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is a very common diagnoses in children and adolescents. Though there are many available treatments that are well researched and efficacious, these patients and their family dynamics can often present with unique challenges in the pediatric (and psychiatric) care settings.

There are a number of proved treatment available including stimulants (Methylphenidate and Amphetamine based products), non-stimulant (alpha-agonists, atomoxetine, bupropion), behavioral, and even dietary (Vayarin) that may all be options for treatment. They can be used each as monotherapy, or often in conjunction with one another.

Screening for ADHD at each well child visit has been shown to be a good way to track a patient’s ADHD symptoms over time.

For Referral to MUSC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services please fill out the linked form and fax to 843-792-5598.

Behavioral Disturbances

There are no symptoms that inspire more frustration, concern, and fear in a family than oppositional, defiant, and aggressive symptoms in children. Management of these conditions can be time intensive, but interventions that increase the consistency and predictability of parental rewards and punishments have been shown to help with these problematic behaviors. Activities that promote positive interactions with caregivers, focus on skill acquisition and mastery (sports, arts, other extracurricular activities), optimization of sleep, exercise, and diet have all been shown to help with these troublesome behaviors.

There are many parenting books and programs that have been shown to work well in these clinical scenarios. A link to helpful handouts, books, and websites are listed below.

Screening for behavioral disturbances at each well child visit has been shown to be a good way to track a patient’s behavioral symptoms over time.

For Referral to MUSC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services please fill out the linked form and fax to 843-792-5598.

More About Referrals