Child and adolescent psychiatry training in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile: current panorama and future challenges

  • Sandra ScivolettoEmail author
  • Marina A. Fondello
  • Luara N. Otoch
  • Eloisa H. R. Valler Celeri
  • Sheila C. Caetano
  • Ana Soledade Graeff-Martins
  • Maria Conceição Rosario
  • Roberto Pallia
  • Adriana Gutiérrez
  • Mario Valdivia
  • Laura Viola
  • Guilherme V. Polanczyk
Original Contribution


Mental disorders affect approximately 10–15% of children and adolescents worldwide. In South America these numbers are probably higher due to poverty and adverse life events that frequently affect this region. The availability of qualified services and well-trained professionals to care for those children are by far insufficient. The aim of this study was to assess and describe child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) training in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, to support the development and strengthen training standards. The coordinators of CAP residency programs in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile were invited to answer an online questionnaire about the characteristics of their training programs. Twelve programs from Brazil, three programs from Chile, two from Argentina, and one from Uruguay completed the questionnaires. In the last three countries, CAP is recognized as an independent specialty, while in Brazil it is considered a subspecialty of psychiatry. None of the countries have a national guideline for CAP residency training. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of professionals interested in pursuing a formal CAP training. This is the first study aiming to evaluate the current scenario of CAP training in South America. The results point to a great potential in the evaluated programs, but also to the need for homogeneous criteria for CAP training and evaluation of residents. A more efficient communication among programs would be an enriching strategy for their development, which may be facilitated by the results of this study.


Child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) training Skills Competencies South America 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

No ethical approval was required for information collection in this study as it did not involve the collection of personal information.

Informed consent

This work did not require a consent form nor used patients or individuals data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Scivoletto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marina A. Fondello
    • 2
  • Luara N. Otoch
    • 1
  • Eloisa H. R. Valler Celeri
    • 3
  • Sheila C. Caetano
    • 4
  • Ana Soledade Graeff-Martins
    • 5
    • 6
  • Maria Conceição Rosario
    • 4
  • Roberto Pallia
    • 7
  • Adriana Gutiérrez
    • 8
  • Mario Valdivia
    • 9
  • Laura Viola
    • 10
  • Guilherme V. Polanczyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Faculdade de Medicina FMUSPUniversidade de Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Faculdade de Medicina FMUSPHospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Universidade de Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Faculdade de MedicinaUniversidade Estadual de Campinas UNICAMPCampinasBrazil
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)São PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Psiquiatria e Medicina Legal, Faculdade de MedicinaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  6. 6.Serviço de Psiquiatria da Infância e AdolescênciaHospital de Clínicas de Porto AlegrePorto AlegreBrazil
  7. 7.Servicio de Salud Mental PediátricaInstituto Universitario Escuela de Medicina Des Hospital Italiano IUHI, Hospital Italiano de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  8. 8.Unidad de Psiquiatría del niño Y del Adolescente, Facultad de Ciencias MédicasUniversidad de Santiago de Chile USACH, Hospital Exequiel González CortésSantiagoChile
  9. 9.Departamento de Psiquiatría Y Salud MentalUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  10. 10.Departamento de Psiquiatría Pediátrica, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de La RepublicaMontevideoUruguay

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