Diagnosis and medication overload? A nurse review of the psychiatric histories of older youth in treatment foster care


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Prior research has raised concern about the appropriateness of psychotropic medication use and the validity of psychiatric diagnosing for youth in child welfare but has lacked in-depth case information. This study reports results from a psychiatric nurse review conducted with eight youth entering a foster care intervention using case records and multiple key informant interviews. Results revealed extensive histories of unique (nonoverlapping) psychiatric diagnoses (M = 8, range 7-9) and past psychotropic medications (M = 13, range 9-21). The findings highlight the need to improve assessment practices and to create mechanisms that promote greater continuity of psychiatric care.

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