Professional News
APA/AACAP Revise Treatment Guide for Parents
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 20 page 4-4

APA and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) have released a revised and expanded version of the guide "The Use of Medication in Treating Childhood and Adolescent Depression: Information for Patients and Families."

The guide, originally published in 2005, is intended to help parents and families make informed decisions about care for a child or adolescent with depression. The new version, presented in a question-and-answer format, has been updated and revised based on recent research on the effectiveness of various treatments for depression in children and adolescents and has been expanded to include discussion of a range of medication and psychotherapy treatments, suicide risk, and actions parents can take to help their children during treatment.

The guide was developed jointly by APA and AACAP in consultation with a national coalition of parents, clinicians, and professional associations and has been endorsed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Suicide Prevention Action Network, Mental Health America, and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

It was written by a panel of experts appointed by the presidents of APA and AACAP and co-chaired by child psychiatrists Christopher Kratochvil, M.D., and David Fassler, M.D.

"The guide was developed with extensive input from parents. It was designed to help answer the questions they have about these medications," said Fassler in a statement. "Parents need as much information as possible to advocate for their children and to make informed decisions about treatment options." Fassler is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and treasurer of APA.

Kratochvil, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, added, "This was a collaboration of groups, including patient advocacy and professional organizations, who wanted to provide reliable and up-to-date information to parents about the treatment of depression. Additionally, we wanted to make it readily accessible to patients and families, available for downloading off of the Internet at no charge."

The new guide is posted at <www.parentsmedguide.org>, a joint Web site of APA and AACAP.blacksquare

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