Addressing Mental Health in Pediatric Rheumatology
Purpose of review
To review the current evidence for the management of mental disorders for youth with rheumatologic diseases, and elucidate gaps in knowledge requiring further investigation to improve management of mental health conditions for these patients.
Depression and anxiety are common in youth with pediatric rheumatologic diseases and are associated with poor adherence, quality of life, and long-term outcomes. They have a complex etiology and require consideration of overall disease management as well as contributing psychosocial factors. Increasing evidence indicates that current screening strategies fail to fully support this patient population and that many patients with mental health problems go untreated.
Effective strategies to approach mental health in pediatric rheumatology patients are likely those that incorporate both behavioral and pharmacological therapies, and include families and social support. Preliminary evidence shows that adopting screening practices in pediatric rheumatology clinics will improve detection of mental disorders and is acceptable to patients and families. Broad mental health screening strategies should be considered for youth with rheumatologic diseases. Further research is necessary to better understand which treatments are most effective for depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental disorders observed in pediatric rheumatology.
KeywordsPediatric rheumatology Mental health Depression Anxiety Screening Treatment Behavioral therapy
The authors would like to thank the generous assistance of Aurelia Minuti, head reference librarian from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, for her guidance regarding searching algorithms used for this review.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Tamar Rubinstein declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Alaina Davis declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Martha Rodriguez declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Andrea Knight declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
References and Recommended Reading
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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