The Psychology Service serves patients with varying degrees of assessment and treatment needs. Services include neuropsychological testing, cognitive assessments, diagnostic assessments for behavioral or developmental concerns, and treatment in the areas of pre-school and school age disruptive behavior, anxiety and mood disorders, complex ADHD and more.
Comprehensive health care for children must address the many behavioral factors at many different levels that impact children’s health, including primary prevention (e.g., obesity), screening and early detection (e.g. autism); behavioral comorbidities and phenotypes (e.g., neurologic/genetic disorders), adherence to treatment (e.g. family/psychosocial barriers), direct behavioral treatments of medical conditions (e.g., migraine); behavioral and quality of life outcomes of disease (e.g., cancer), and the identification and treatment of behavioral/psychiatric disorders as they present in health care settings (e.g., AD/HD, depression). Integrating and aligning all of these efforts in a modern health care facility and academic medical center is extremely challenging and is rarely accomplished in a deliberate, strategic manner. Yet, the need for this coordination of efforts is extremely important to any mission involved in providing the best care for children and their families. The scope and impact of the problem is increasingly apparent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that health behaviors account for at least 50% of all health problems. Collaborative models in both tertiary and primary care settings are clearly more suited to the complex biopsychosocial origins of many medical and behavioral conditions affecting children. Existing health care delivery models too often reflect the discredited dichotomy between “behavioral” and “medical” disorders that interferes with the achievement of the best outcomes for children.
The service works closely with other services within Texas Children’s Hospital, both inpatient and outpatient, in helping patients adjust to and manage complicated or serious medical diagnoses. The service sees between 5,500 and 6,000 patients annually.
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