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Professional News
AACAP Document Guides Clinicians in Best-Practices Prescribing
Psychiatric News
Volume 44 Number 20 page 2-2

A 13-item practice parameter on the use of psychotropic medication in children and adolescents has been issued by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).

The best practices, published as an article in the September Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, were developed by the AACAP Work Group on Quality Issues. The lead author was John Walkup, M.D.

"The reason for the parameter was to ground prescribers of psychotropic medication in the best-practice principles," Walkup said in a statement released with the article. "This is not a standard-of-care document and is not meant to reduce prescribing. Rather, it is a call for action to create a systematic and comprehensive approach to using medications in children safely and effectively."

The parameter outlines best practices for psychiatric and other medical assessment, development of the treatment and monitoring plan, education of the patient and family about the disorder and treatment, implementation of the treatment plan, and management of medication-modification plans.

The parameter has 13 principles:

An abstract of the practice parameter is posted at<www.jaacap.com>.

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