Inpatient Pediatric Psychology Consultation-Liaison Practice Survey: Corrected Version

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Abstract

The specialty of pediatric psychology inpatient consultation-liaison (CL) continues to grow despite limited research examining practice and training approaches. With increasing need to justify services, the current study surveyed pediatric inpatient CL psychologists on their institutional, practice, and training characteristics to highlight areas of strength and growth needed to advance inpatient CL practice. Members of the Society of Pediatric Psychology (N = 118) completed an anonymous online survey assessing institution characteristics, service activity and practice characteristics, training, billing and funding issues, research activity, and perceptions of inpatient CL practice. Respondents represented diversity in years of practice, institution type, institution size, and department. There was significant variability in the nature of inpatient CL coverage, number of CL psychologists, and professional composition of the CL team. Psychology trainees play a significant role on many CL services. Treatment protocols are used infrequently and few inpatient CL psychologists are systematically tracking clinical outcomes or conducting formal research. Most inpatient CL services are fiscally dependent on a combination of funding sources. Despite frustrations with limited protected time for research and teaching, most inpatient CL psychologists are satisfied in their roles and deny significant burnout. Diversity of setting and practice characteristics presents challenges in providing global recommendations for pediatric inpatient CL psychological practice. Rapid changes in the American health care system demand that, for survival and growth, increased research efforts are needed to demonstrate outcomes of consultation activities and the added benefit of service provision. Recommendations are given for inpatient CL practice and research.

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