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Overdiagnosis of Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Course #: 06-1003

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Price: $4.00

CE Credit Hours: 1.00 Continuing Education Credit Hours

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Course Description

CE Course Description

During the past 50 years, numerous sources have reported a worldwide increase in prevalence rates of mental disorders and in prescription rates of psychoactive medication among children and adolescents.  The purpose of this brief, intermediate level continuing education course, developed using information from the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, is to evaluate literature on the topic of overdiagnosis of mental disorders in children and adolescents to determine prevalence and reasons for overdiagnosis. Findings concerning diagnostician, informant and child/adolescent characteristics are summarized, as well as factors concerning diagnostic criteria and the health care system that can lead to mistakes in the routine diagnostic process resulting in misdiagnoses.

CE Course Objectives

1. Discuss the evidence for the increase in prevalence rates of mental disorders among children and adolescents. 

2. Identify factors that might cause misdiagnoses in child and adolescent mental disorders.

3. Describe how diagnostician, informant, and child/adolescent characteristics can impact the diagnosis of mental health issues in youth.

4. Evaluate how health policy constraints may influence premature diagnoses in children and adolescents.

5. Summarize specific study findings evaluating overdiagnosis in youth.

6. Consider how these study findings may impact daily practice and further research.

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