Introduction Target Audience This book is written for pediatric primary care clinicians (PCCs) who care for children and adolescents with common psychiatric disorders in their out- patient practices and who prescribe and monitor medications. This audience includes primary care pediatricians, family physicians, pediatric and family nurse practitioners, and pediatric and family physician assistants. Secondary audiences include specialists who provide consultation to pedi- atric PCCs in performing these roles, including developmental-behavioral pediatricians, specialists in neurodevelopmental disabilities, child and ado- lescent psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, specialists in adolescent medicine, pediatric neurologists, and some psychiatrists with training in adolescent care. A third audience includes allied mental health professionals who collaborate with medication prescribers and who can provide evidence-­ based psychotherapies and other care for children and adolescents, including psychologists, social workers, nurses, and counselors. Why Now? The need for a conceptual framework with practical guidance for pediatric psychopharmacology is critical. The National Survey of Children’s Health (2016-2017) provides estimates of specific diagnoses based on parental reports that their child (ages 3–17 years) had received a formal diagnosis of a mental disorder. According to this survey, 9.4% of children in the United States (about 6.1 million) had received a diagnosis of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 7.1% of children (4.4 million) had been diagnosed with anxiety, and 3.2% of children (1.9 million) had received a diagnosis of depression. These data show that these 3 common mental health disorders account for a large proportion of affected youth.1 A persistent critical shortage of mental health specialists limits the ability of these youth to access care for their mental health needs. Most children with common disorders do not receive a mental health evaluation, and many do not receive treatment. In 2016–2017, only about 60% of youth with ADHD were treated with medication. Similarly, only about 60% of youth with an 00b_Psychopharmacology_FM_3ed.indd 15 7/29/21 8:32 AM
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