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Prevalences and configurations of mental disorders among institutionalized adolescents.

Journal article
Authors Henrik Anckarsäter
Thomas Nilsson
Ola Ståhlberg
Mats Gustafson
Jean-Michel Saury
Maria Råstam
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Developmental Neurorehabilitation
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 57-65
ISSN 1751-8423
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 57-65
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adolescent, Institutionalized, Statistics & numerical data, Adult, Age Factors, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Epidemiology, Autistic Disorder, Epidemiology, Child, Depressive Disorder, Epidemiology, Female, Humans, Juvenile Delinquency, Statistics & numerical data, Learning Disorders, Epidemiology, Male, Mental Disorders, Classification, Epidemiology, Mental Retardation, Epidemiology, Prevalence, Psychotic Disorders, Epidemiology, Psychotropic Drugs, Therapeutic use, Sex Factors, Sweden, Epidemiology
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


OBJECTIVE: To assess prevalence figures for psychiatric disorders among institutionalized adolescents due to behavioural problems and/or delinquency. METHOD: Participants were recruited from consecutive referrals to/or treated at two Swedish adolescent units, SIS1 (n = 60) and SIS2 (n = 70) with ranging age of 12-20.3 years (mean age = 16.2; SD = 1.8) during 1 year. Clinical and diagnostic information was used to generate DSM-IV diagnoses. RESULTS: One or several neuropsychiatric disorders were diagnosed in 53% of all subjects: 39% met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), 15% for a pervasive developmental disorder (referred to as autism spectrum disorders, ASDs) and 8% had a mental retardation (referred to as a learning disability, LD). The collapsed prevalence for psychiatric disorders requiring specialist attention was 66%, counting severe depression and psychotic disorders but not substance use. About one in three of all adolescents in the study were given psychopharmacological treatment. CONCLUSION: Published studies and this clinical survey clearly indicate that systematic studies of mental health needs among institutionalized adolescents are warranted to form the basis of adequate treatment and support measures.

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