Mental health problems in children and adolescents referred to a national epilepsy center
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Original versionEpilepsy & Behavior 2007, 10(2):255-262 10.1016/j.yebeh.2006.11.011
This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of psychiatric morbidity in children and adolescents referred to a tertiary national epilepsy center (inpatient unit) and the extent of the unmet need for psychiatric services in this group. Participants were 74 children and adolescents aged 9–15 referred from February 2001 to October 2002 (67% response rate). The multi-informant (parent, teacher, self-report) Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQs) were answered before or at admission. Patients with severe mental retardation or pervasive developmental disorder were excluded. We found a large proportion (77%) with a possible or probable psychiatric disorder. The parents, teachers, and adolescents themselves had higher mean SDQ scores than a British community sample on total difficulties, emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity–inattention, peer problems, and impairment, but not self-reported conduct problems. Nearly 80% of the children who probably had a psychiatric disorder had no contact with the psychiatric service.