Predicting antipsychotic use in children.
UNLABELLED: Psychotropic medications are increasingly being used by children and adolescents. In an earlier report, we noted that boys were receiving atypical antipsychotics more frequently than were girls, (70% of the claims). Since diagnosis was not available in the data, we were unable to ascertain the reasons for this. In the present analysis, we examined a large clinical mental health database to ascertain the reason for antipsychotic use.We evaluated the extent to which race, gender, age and type of diagnosis accounted for atypical antipsychotic use in children. METHODS: The authors used an anonymous clinical database created at Duke University Medical Center. The database is based on the clinical document of care in the Department of Psychiatry. The data are de-identified per HIPAA guidelines and has an IRB exemption for use in clinical research. Patients analyzed were seen from 1999 to 2005 and were below the age of 18 at the time of clinical care. A total 3,268 patients, with a total of 7,701 visits comprise the analysis sample. Age, gender, race, and diagnosis were extracted as predictors of use of atypical antipsychotics. RESULTS: Males and older children were also more likely to use an atypical. African Americans were slightly more likely to use an atypical than whites. Patients whose diagnoses were classified as either psychotic or internalizing were also more likely to use an antipsychotic. CONCLUSION: The underlying reasons for the high level of use of atypicals in boys and in African Americans need to be investigated further.
Gersing, K; Burchett, B; March, J; Ostbye, T; Krishnan, KRR
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