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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Clinician compliance to recommendations regarding the risk of suicidality with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of children and adolescents

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Meta-analyses of randomized-controlled trials have established a heightened risk of suicidality for children and adolescents treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The present study examined to what extent daily clinical practice complied with specific recommendations regarding the risk of suicidality when treating children and adolescents with SSRIs. All in- and outpatients aged 0-17 years at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark with a prescription for SSRI on January 1st, 2016 were identified. Data were obtained for n = 365 patients regarding the level of clinician compliance to deliver pre-consent information about adverse effects, monitor for suicidality, and provide non-pharmacological interventions. 81.7% (n = 298) of patients received pre-consent information about adverse effects. 67.7% (n = 247) were monitored for suicidality within 6 weeks after SSRI initiation. Children (0-13 years) were less likely to be monitored for suicidality compared to adolescents (14-17 years) (49.6% vs. 77.5%, p < 0.001). Patients with depression as indication for SSRI treatment were more likely to be monitored for suicidality than patients with other indications (OR = 3.4, p = 0,002) and more likely to receive information specifically about suicidality (34.7% vs. 19.7%, p = 0.002). Respectively, 89.3% (n = 326) and 93.4% (n = 341) of all SSRI-treated patients were treated with non-pharmacological interventions prior to and in parallel with SSRI treatment. For the majority of cases, treatment of children and adolescents with SSRI complied with recommendations from clinical guidelines. However, patients of younger age and/or with indications for SSRIs other than depression were less likely to be managed according to recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume29
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)707-718
Number of pages12
ISSN1018-8827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

    Research areas

  • Adverse effects, Children and adolescents, Guideline compliance, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Suicidality

ID: 58383231