Development of a Symptom-Focused Model to Guide the Prescribing of Antipsychotics in Children and Adolescents: Results of the First Phase of the Safer and Targeted Use of Antipsychotics (SUAY) Clinical Trial

Robert B. Penfold, Ella E. Thompson, Robert J. Hilt, Nadine Schwartz, Adelaide S. Robb, Christoph U. Correll, Douglas Newton, Kelly Rogalski, Marian F. Earls, Robert A. Kowatch, Arne Beck, Bobbi Jo H. Yarborough, Stephen Crystal, Benedetto Vitiello, Kelly J. Kelleher, Gregory E. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: To develop a new approach to prescribing guidelines as part of a pragmatic trial, Targeted and Safer Use of Antipsychotics in Youth (SUAY; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03448575), which supports prescribers in delivering high-quality mental health care to youths. Method: A nominal group technique was used to identify first- to nth-line treatments for target symptoms and potential diagnoses. The panel included US pediatricians, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and psychopharmacology experts. Meeting materials included information about Medicaid review programs, systematic reviews, prescribing guidelines, and a description of the pragmatic trial. Afterward, a series of 4 webinar discussions were held to achieve consensus on recommendations. Results: The panel unanimously agreed that the guideline should focus on target symptoms rather than diagnoses. Guidance included recommendations for first- to nth-line treatment of target mental health symptoms, environmental factors to be addressed, possible underlying diagnoses that should first be considered and ruled out, and general considerations for pharmacological and therapeutic treatments. Conclusion: Prescribing guidelines are often ignored because they do not incorporate the real-world availability of first-line psychosocial treatments, comorbid conditions, and clinical complexity. Our approach addresses some of these concerns. If the approach proves successful in our ongoing pragmatic trial, Targeted and Safer Use of Antipsychotics in Youth (SUAY), it may serve as a model to state Medicaid programs and health systems to support clinicians in delivering high-quality mental health care to youths. Clinical trial registration information: Targeted and Safer Use of Antipsychotics in Youth; http://clinicaltrials.gov/; NCT03448575

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • antipsychotic
  • consulting
  • guidelines

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