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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 41 (1999) 1, 3 - 13

New research

Prescription of psychotropic drugs by Dutch child and adolescent psychiatrists to children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders

E. van Daalen, J.K. Buitelaar

Decisions about the use of psychotropics for common psychiatric disorders in childhood were investigated using a questionnaire presented to Dutch child psychiatrists (n = 95 in final analysis). The endorsement of drug treatment was greater for psychotic and externalizing disorders than for affective disorders. A tendency was found towards overprescription in mentally retarded children with behaviour problems and towards underprescription in conduct disordered children of normal ability. A number of specific drugs received high preference rankings (e.g. the ssri's) in the absence of a solid database regarding efficacy and safety. Areas which are particularly underresearched are the drug treatment of affective disorders, agression and self-injury, and behaviour problems in subjects with mental retardation or pdd.

keywords adolescents, children, prescription, psychotropic drugs