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CME Article

Computerized Behavioral Health Screening in the Emergency Department

      Published Online: by:11


      <P>The rate of untreated mental health problems among children and adolescents has increased over the past decade, and it is estimated that 70% of children in need do not receive mental health services. Untreated, mental health problems place children at risk for poor school performance and social isolation, and in some cases can lead to adult psychopathology and suicide. Routine screening in medical settings has been recommended as a mechanism for identifying adolescents with unmet mental health needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has acknowledged the role of the emergency department (ED) as a safety net for children and adolescents with unmet mental health needs and recommended the development of accurate mental health screening tools and best practices for follow-up programs for pediatric patients.</P> <H4>ABOUT THE AUTHORS</H4> <P>Megan E. Pailler, PhD, is with the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Joel A.Fein, MD, MPH, is with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. </P><P>Address correspondence to Megan E. Pailler, PhD, Department of Psychology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm & Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263; fax: 716-845-4528. </P> <P>Dr. Pailler and Dr. Fein have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. </P> <H4>EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES</H4><P> <OL><P><LI>Discuss the impact of unrecognized psychiatric illness on child and adolescent health. </P></LI> <P><LI>Identify the best methods of implementing an “extra” but important screening process in the emergency department setting. </P></LI> <P><LI>Understand the challenges of translating research results for clinical settings. </P></LI>

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