Patient Care

Opioids, Obesity among Topics in Newly Released AAP Clinical Reports


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today released six clinical reports and one policy statement covering a range of timely topics relevant to the health and care of children. Here is a snapshot.

1) Evaluation and Management of Children and Adolescents With Acute Mental Health or Behavioral Problems. Part I: Common Clinical Challenges of Patients With Mental Health and/or Behavioral Emergencies.

This report focuses on the issues relevant to children and adolescents presenting to the emergency department (ED) or primary care clinic with a mental health condition or emergency and covers the following topics: medical clearance of pediatric psychiatric patients; suicidal ideation and suicide attempts; involuntary hospitalization; restraint of the agitated patient (verbal restraint, chemical restraint and physical restraint); coordination with the medical home.

2) Evaluation and Management of Children With Acute Mental Health or Behavioral Problems. Part II: Recognition of Clinically Challenging Mental Health Related Conditions Presenting With Medical or Uncertain Symptoms.

This clinical report focuses on the challenges a pediatrician may face when evaluating patients with a mental health condition, which may be contributing to or complicating a medical or indeterminate clinical presentation. Topics include somatic symptom and related disorders; adverse effects of psychiatric medications (antipsychotic adverse effects, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, serotonin syndrome); children with special needs in the ED (autism spectrum and developmental disorders); mental health screening in the ED.

Both reports are from the AAP Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee and include an executive summary.

3) Mind-Body Therapies in Children and Youth

From the AAP Section on Integrative Medicine, this report notes that a "growing body of evidence supports the effectiveness and safety of mind-body therapies in pediatrics. This clinical report outlines popular mind-body therapies for children and youth and examines the best-available evidence for a variety of mind-body therapies and practices, including biofeedback, clinical hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation, and yoga. The report is intended to help health care professionals guide their patients to nonpharmacologic approaches to improve concentration, help decrease pain, control discomfort, or ease anxiety."

4) Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents

This report, from the AAP Committee on Nutrition, Committee on Adolescence, Section on Obesity, notes that "messages from pediatricians addressing obesity and reviewing constructive ways to manage weight can be safely and supportively incorporated into health care visits. Avoiding certain weight-based language and using motivational interviewing (MI) techniques may improve communication and promote successful outcomes when providing weight-management counseling. This clinical report addresses the interaction between obesity prevention and eating disorders (EDs) in teenagers, provides the pediatrician with evidence-informed tools to identify behaviors that predispose to both obesity and EDs, and provides guidance about obesity and ED prevention messages. The focus should be on a healthy lifestyle rather than on weight. Evidence suggests that obesity prevention and treatment, if conducted correctly, do not predispose to EDs."

5) Parental Presence During Treatment of Ebola or Other Highly Consequential Infection

From the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, this report offers "guidance to health care providers and hospitals on options to consider regarding parental presence at the bedside while caring for a child with suspected or proven Ebola virus disease (Ebola) or other highly consequential infection. Options are presented to help meet the needs of the patient and the family while also posing the least risk to providers and health care organizations."

6) Safe Sleep and Skin-to-Skin Care in the Neonatal Period for Healthy Term Newborns

This report, from the Committee on Fetus and Newborn, Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, notes that skin-to-skin care (SSC) and rooming-in are now common in the newborn period for healthy newborns with the implementation of maternity care practices that support breastfeeding as outlined in the World Health Organization's "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding." The evidence indicates that implementation of these practices "increases overall and exclusive breastfeeding, safer and healthier transitions, and improved maternal-infant bonding. In some cases, however, the practice of SSC and rooming-in may pose safety concerns, particularly with regard to sleep. This clinical report is intended for birthing centers and delivery hospitals caring for healthy newborns to assist in the establishment of appropriate SSC and safe sleep policies."

The policy statement - Medication-Assisted Treatment of Adolescents With Opioid Use Disorders - is from the Committee on Substance Use and Prevention. It notes that opioid use disorder is "a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among US youth. Effective treatments, both medications and substance use disorder counseling, are available but underused, and access to developmentally appropriate treatment is severely restricted for adolescents and young adults. Resources to disseminate available therapies and to develop new treatments specifically for this age group are needed to save and improve lives of youth with opioid addiction."

"The AAP recommends that pediatricians consider offering medication-assisted treatment to their adolescent and young adult patients with severe opioid use disorders or discuss referrals to other providers for this service," the statement advises.

The six clinical reports and one policy statement are published in the September issue of Pediatrics and were released online August 22.


Pediatrics 2016.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

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