In-Patient Child Psychiatry: Modern Practice, Research and the Future

In-Patient Child Psychiatry: Modern Practice, Research and the Future

In-Patient Child Psychiatry: Modern Practice, Research and the Future

In-Patient Child Psychiatry: Modern Practice, Research and the Future

Synopsis

Essential reading for clinicians, managers and researchers in child psychiatry, this authoritative book provides accessible coverage of essential theory as well clear practical guidance to inpatient psychiatric treatment. This method of treatment has fallen out of fashion in recent years in favor of community-based care, but remains a useful setting for treating more seriously ill patients. Bringing together contributions from across the profession, this book covers the "state-of-the-art" in current clinical treatment, and sets a bold new agenda for the future, arguing that inpatient child psychiatric units retain great potential for creative, effective, relevant treatment.

Excerpt

The notion of removing children and adolescents with severe behavioural disorders and emotional disorders from their homes into an in-patient unit has its attractions. It may appeal to mental health professionals in the community because it permits the separation of the child from the negative influences in the family and community while exposing the child to an organised treatment programme. However, the attractions have to be weighed against the potential negative effects of this experience before the decision to admit is taken. Modern in-patient units take this issue very seriously in their preparation for admission and visiting policies, and by involving the family and the community agencies very fully in the individual treatment programmes for each child.

The earliest in-patient units in the usa had a mainly custodial and management function but later there were moves toward the use of the in-patient setting as a therapeutic agent in itself. Treatment procedures reflected the outpatient procedures of the time. Modern in-patient units usually include the disciplines of child psychiatry, nursing, psychology, social work, education paediatrics, occupational therapy, child psychotherapy and sometimes the experiential therapies. More specialised units may also employ child-care workers and speech and language therapists, depending on the age of the children and the range of disorders treated.

Each of the contributors has brought to this book different experiences and vantage points on the disturbed children admitted to their units. the reader is given a comprehensive picture of the complex nature of the needs to be met, the questions to be asked and how some of the provisions are organised and provided. Although no particular philosophy of treatment is given precedence, it is the variation in outlook of the different disciplines blended together in the interests of the child and family which holds the reader. In-patient child psychiatric units have indeed come a long way since their inception in 1947. Circumstances and purposes differ in different units, as is clear from the contents, but this comprehensive account will stand as a milestone in the history of the service.

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