Pediatricians are often the first physicians to encounter adolescents and young adults presenting with psychotic symptoms. Although pediatricians would ideally be able to refer these patients immediately into psychiatric care, the shortage of child and adolescent psychiatry services may sometimes require pediatricians to make an initial assessment or continue care after recommendations are made by a specialist. Knowing how to identify and further evaluate these symptoms in pediatric patients and how to collaborate with and refer to specialty care is critical in helping to minimize the duration of untreated psychosis and to optimize outcomes. Because not all patients presenting with psychotic-like symptoms will convert to a psychotic disorder, pediatricians should avoid prematurely assigning a diagnosis when possible. Other contributing factors, such as co-occurring substance abuse or trauma, should also be considered. This clinical report describes psychotic and psychotic-like symptoms in the pediatric age group as well as etiology, risk factors, and recommendations for pediatricians, who may be among the first health care providers to identify youth at risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health