Evaluating pediatric psychology consultation services in a medical setting: An example

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We examined the nature of referrals to a health center-based pediatric psychology service from 1990 to 1993 and assessed the satisfaction of health professionals with these services. Archival evaluation of 1467 records showed that over half of the consultation requests came from general pediatrics, pediatric neurology, and surgical services and that 70% of the psychological services were delivered on an outpatient basis. The most frequent referrals were for cognitive/neuropsychological evaluation and externalizing behavior problems. Pediatric psychology trainees were involved in 94% of the consultations. Survey of health professionals (n = 143) indicated very high overall satisfaction with the quality of services delivered. Presenting problems yielding the greatest likelihood for future consultation requests were behavior problems, child abuse, coping with illness, and depression/suicide. Results are discussed in the context of previous evaluations of pediatric psychology services and recommendations for future evaluation research.