To compare attitudes regarding a pediatrician's role in prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for children and adolescents, surveys were mailed to 338 primary care pediatricians and 75 child and adolescent psychiatrists; half responded. Child and adolescent psychiatrists were significantly more likely than primary care pediatricians to agree that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are safe and effective when used for children and adolescents. Primary care pediatricians were significantly more likely than child and adolescent psychiatrists to agree that black box warnings have changed their prescribing practices. Both had similar beliefs about whether antidepressants should be prescribed only by psychiatrists and whether pediatricians should initiate selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy, without or after consulting a psychiatrist. These data suggest that among child and adolescent psychiatrists and primary care pediatricians, agreement about the pediatrician's role in using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors therapy is lacking. Strategies that enhance communication and endorse support for defined roles of primary care pediatricians and child and adolescent psychiatrists will ensure that children with mental health needs are treated safely and appropriately.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health