Between 17% and 22% of these patients had a primary or comorbid mental health diagnosis, and all the hospital stays added up to $3.5 billion in aggregate charges to the health care system. The most common diagnoses at the general hospitals were depression (44.1%), bipolar disorder (18.1%), and psychosis (12.1%). Substance abuse was a common comorbidity. In the freestanding hospitals, depression (42.2%), externalizing disorder (10.8%), and bipolar disorder (10.6%) were the most common psychiatric diagnoses.
The authors concluded that their study “supports the creation of diagnosis-specific quality measures for all hospitals that admit children.”
For the latest information about the treatment of mental illness in children and adolescents, see Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Second Edition and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Children and Adolescents, both from American Psychiatric Publishing.
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