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Assignment: Assessing and Treating Pediatric Patients With Mood Disorders

When pediatric patients present with mood disorders, the process of assessing, diagnosing, and treating them can be quite complex. Children not only present with different signs and symptoms than adult patients with the same disorders, they also metabolize medications much differently. Yet, there may be times when the same psychopharmacologic treatments may be used in both pediatric and adult cases with major depressive disorders. As a result, psychiatric nurse practitioners must exercise caution when prescribing psychotropic medications to these patients. For this Assignment, as you examine the patient case study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat pediatric patients presenting with mood disorders.

To prepare for this Assignment:

· Review this week’s Learning Resources, including the Medication Resources indicated for this week.

· Reflect on the psychopharmacologic treatments you might recommend for the assessment and treatment of pediatric patients requiring antidepressant therapy.

The Assignment: 5 pages

Examine Case Study: An African American Child Suffering From Depression. You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the medication to prescribe to this patient. Be sure to consider factors that might impact the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes.

At each decision point, you should evaluate all options before selecting your decision and moving throughout the exercise. Before you make your decision, make sure that you have researched each option and that you evaluate the decision that you will select. Be sure to research each option using the primary literature.

Introduction to the case (1 page)

· Briefly explain and summarize the case for this Assignment. Be sure to include the specific patient factors that may impact your decision making when prescribing medication for this patient.

Decision #1 (1 page)

· Which decision did you select?

· Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

· Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

· What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).

· Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Decision #2 (1 page)

· Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

· Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

· What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).

· Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Decision #3 (1 page)

· Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

· Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

· What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).

· Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Conclusion (1 page)

Summarize your recommendations on the treatment options you selected for this patient. Be sure to justify your recommendations and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.


Note:

 Support your rationale with a minimum of five academic resources. While you may use the course text to support your rationale, it will not count toward the resource requirement. You should be utilizing the primary and secondary literature.

Reminder : The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.

Background Information

The client is an 8-year-old African American male who arrives at the ER with his mother. He is exhibiting signs of depression.

Client complained of feeling “sad”
Mother reports that teacher said child is withdrawn from peers in class
Mother notes decreased appetite and occasional periods of irritation
Client reached all developmental landmarks at appropriate ages
Physical exam unremarkable
Laboratory studies WNL

Client referred to psychiatry evaluation

Client seen by psychiatric nurse practitioner

Alert & oriented X 3, speech clear, coherent, goal directed, spontaneous. Self-reported mood is “sad”. Affect somewhat blunted, but child smiled appropriately at various points throughout the clinical interview. He denies visual or auditory hallucinations. No delusional or paranoid thought processes noted. Judgment and insight appear to be age-appropriate. He is not endorsing active suicidal ideation, but does admit that he often thinks about himself being dead and what it would be like to be dead.

You administer the Children’s Depression Rating Scale, obtaining a score of 30 (indicating significant depression)

RESOURCES

§ Poznanski, E., & Mokros, H. (1996). Child Depression Rating Scale–Revised. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

Decision Point One

Select what you should do:
Begin Zoloft 25 mg orally daily-I will choose this one.
Begin Paxil 10 mg orally daily
Begin Wellbutrin 75 mg orally BID

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT ONE

1. Client returns to clinic in four weeks

2. Slight increase in mood

3. No HAM-D results

No adverse events reported

DECISION POINT TWO

Select what PMHNP should do next:

Increase dose to 37.5 mg orally daily

Increase dose to 50 mg orally daily- I will choose this one

Change to Prozac 10 mg orally daily.

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO

1.Client returns to clinic in 4 weeks

2. Depressive symptoms decreased by 50%. Client tolerating well.

DECISION POINT THREE

Select what PMHNP should do next:

1. Maintain current dose- I WILL CHOOOSE THIS ONE.

2. Increase dose to 75 mg orally daily

3. Change to a SNRI

· Results of decision point three:

· Guidance to Student
At this point, sufficient symptom reduction has been achieved. It is considered a full response to therapy when symptoms are reduced by 50% or more on the HAM-D. Do not confuse this with full symptom resolution which would be a 100% reduction in symptoms as measured on the HAM-D. It would be in the best interest of the patient to continue with the current dose of medication and re-assess in 4 weeks. Remember, any change in dose resets the “clock” for a full assessment of therapy efficacy. Waiting an additional 4 weeks (8 weeks total from dose change) would allow additional benefit to be recognized. An increase in dose would not be warranted at this point in time as it would lead to an increased potential for adverse events. This could fracture the therapeutic alliance created with your patient and lead to loss to follow-up, loss of symptom control, and other negative consequences to the patient. There is no indication that the drug therapy should be changed to an SNRI at this point as the client is clearly responding to this therapy.