Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When to admit an adolescent to a psychiatric inpatient facility

Michael T. Sorter, MD, Associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, Department of psychiatry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH

Admitting an adolescent to a psychiatric inpatient facility may be necessary to address a crisis. Interdependent links among the patient, family, and support network complicate the determination of whether an adolescent requires inpatient care. To make the best decision, a psychiatrist needs to understand the youth’s difficulties within family, school, and community.

The decision to admit an adolescent rests on:

  • the clinician’s ability to evaluate the risk of harm and functional status

  • how much support the family and/or caregivers can provide

  • the clinician’s knowledge of treatment resources available to the adolescent and family.

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