Children with depression admitted to the hospital for other illnesses like pneumonia, appendicitis or seizure disorders, stay longer, pay more and are at greater risk of death, a Rutgers New Jersey Medical School study finds. The study, which appears in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
Child mortality, also known as child death, refers to the death of children under the age of 14 and encompasses national mortality, under-5 mortality, and mortality of children age 5–14. Many child deaths go unreported for a variety of reasons, including lack of death registration and lack of data on child migrants. Without accurate data on child deaths, they cannot fully discover and combat the greatest risks to a child’s life.
Children diagnose with depression
The first to look specifically at children diagnose with depression and another illness; how the care is provided and coordinate, and the number of children who die while hospitalize. Depression is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States, with one in five children reporting episodes of major depression; its before the age of 18, said Mayowa Olusunmade, lead author and a psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
While many studies have recognized the impact of mental health conditions; hence little is know about the impact of depression, specifically, on hospital utilization and cost. Even more, they discover there is little research on how much it actually costs to implement prevention strategies.
The researchers found that depress children had fewer procedures when admit for non-mental health reasons. Researchers are not sure exactly why this occurs but Olusunmade said it be because depress patients are less willing to undergo procedures or that the providers attribute the health relate symptoms; hence to the depression and were less likely to perform diagnostic procedure they thought were unnecessary.
Improve mental health programs
The findings suggest that routine screening, improve mental health programs; hence early diagnosis and prompt referral or treatment of depression in hospitalize children could be beneficial. These could also reduce the burden on hospital resources. From a practical point of view, health care providers should expect better outcomes; if they screen more aggressively for depression.
To detect depression earlier in their patients and manage it appropriately in affect children,” said Olusunmade. The study use data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) for 2012, a nationally representative database of all inpatient admissions in the United States for patients younger than 21.
The database use a nationwide sample of all pediatric admissions; hence using about 670,000 discharges from the database. The children were age 6-20 years old. A disproportionate number of the children were older teens; so with the average age being about 17 years old. This is likely because depression is more difficult to diagnose/detect in younger children, Olusunmade said.