In recent years, patterns of the use of psychotropic drugs vary with increasing rates of psychiatric presentation and diagnosis in children and adolescents. Purpose:
In this study, we aimed to investigate distributions of current psychiatric symptoms and diagnosis, patterns of the use of psychotropic drugs, and differences according to age and gender in patients presented to a child and adolescent outpatient clinic. Methods:
All patients aged between 0 and 18 years presenting to a child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient clinic between November 1, 2017 and November 1, 2018 were included in the study. Files of all patients were examined in detail, and patients’ demographic characteristics, symptoms, psychiatric diagnoses established according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), psychotropic drugs initiated, and side effect profiles were recorded. Psychiatric symptoms and diagnostic features of the patients were determined, and the differences were investigated according to gender. Clinical characteristics were compared between diagnosed and undiagnosed patients, and between patients with and without drug initiation. Results:
Of the 2066 patients, 1298 (62.8%) were male and the mean age was 10.14 ± 4.42 years. The most common symptoms were hyperactivity (23.8%) and inattention (21.6%) in males, inattention (15.1%) and irritability (14.2%) in females, and 79% of the patients received one or more psychiatric diagnoses. The most common psychiatric diagnoses in both genders were attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), specific learning disorder (SLD), and conduct disorder, respectively. Of the patients who received a psychiatric diagnosis, 61.8% were using psychotropic drugs, with the majority of them (71.3%) receiving monotherapy. The most frequently initiated drugs included psychostimulants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants, with 28.7% of the drug user patients receiving multiple drug therapy. Conclusion:
Our study indicates that rate of presentation to child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient clinics is increasing, and rates of diagnosis and initiation of psychiatry drugs are high among the presented children. The prevalence of ADHD shows an increase in males and females in our country, and psychiatric polypharmacy has reached significant rates.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited