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Nonpharmacological Response in Hospitalized Children With Conduct Disorder

March 3rd, 2010

Malone, Richard P. MD; Luebbert, James F. MD; Delaney,
Mary Anne MD; Biesecker, Krista A. BA; Blaney, Bridget L. BA; Rowan, Amy B. MD; Campbell, Magda MD,

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, Volume 36(2).February 1997 (242-247)

Many parents report that their children's behavioral symptoms remit during hospitalization or a stay in a Residental Treatment Center, and the hospital staff concludes that medication is not needed. This study of 44 children (9-l7) hospitalized for severe aggression found that hospitalization itself was therapeutic for nearly half of them during an initial placebo period of two weeks. The children had been diagnosed with conduct disorder but not mania, depression, psychosis, or other diagnosable disorders. "The aggressive behavior had failed to respond to other treatments and could not be controlled in their home situations." The ones who improved on placebo alone while in the hospital had a shorter history of aggression than the ones who did not. "Further research should assess whether the low rate of aggressive behavior in [the children who improved without medication] remains beyond the 2-week period studied. It will be important to determine whether the aggressive behavior returns. What we do not know is what would happen to the subjects if they returned to the same home environment without pharmacotherapy. Isolating the specific therapeutic factors at work in the hospital environment may make it possible to incorporate them into the home environment. Follow-up studies of this population are required." Ethnic distribution was African-American, 43.2%; Caucasian, 25%; Hispanic, 25%; and other groups, 6.8%. Socioeconomic status was mostly near or below poverty level.

[Abstract by The Balanced Mind Parent Network Staff]

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