Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Diagnosis and treatment of childhood depression: A resource for pediatricians
by Abrahamian, Anett, Psy.D., Pepperdine University, 2012, 185; 3547757
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this dissertation is to provide pediatricians with a guide to correctly identify depression in children ages 6 through 12 years old and to reduce the misdiagnosis of depression as other commonly diagnosed disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). The lack of a separate diagnosis for childhood depression and some symptom overlap with behavior disorders can lead to diagnostic uncertainty. Accurate diagnosis of childhood depression can increase effectiveness of treatments and reduce the likelihood of future depressive episodes.

Studies within multiple search databases were reviewed regarding the history of the diagnosis of depression, etiology and prevalence of childhood depression, accurate diagnosis of depression, differential and comorbid diagnoses, and treatment options for childhood depression.

A presentation and an accompanying resource were created for pediatricians, using the information from the literature review. The presentation and resource provide pediatricians with the diagnostic criteria and clinical presentation, a clinical vignette, consequences of misdiagnosing childhood depression, treatment options, and resources. The intention of the resource is to assist pediatricians in accurately identifying childhood depression in order to avoid inadequate treatment due to misdiagnosis.

As part of this dissertation, the resource, Accurate Diagnosis of Childhood Depression and Treatment Options: A Resource for Pediatricians, was presented at a seminar for pediatric residents, who were asked to give feedback on the resource and accompanying presentation. The feedback was used to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of the presentation and resource, leading to recommendations for modifications. The discussion addresses the limitations of the presentation and resource and proposes recommendations for future dissemination of the resource.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ingram, Barbara
Commitee: Cohen, Anat, Sazgar, Sepida
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Childhood depression, Diagnosis, Misdiagnosis, Pediatricians, Treatment
Publication Number: 3547757
ISBN: 978-1-267-82855-2
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