Research on promotion of management of children with psychosomatic and psychosocial disorders in Japan

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BackgroundThe number of children with psychosomatic and psychosocial disorders has been increasing in Japan. There are, however, few trained pediatricians who have adequate knowledge of the treatment needed. The Research Group on the Promotion of Management of Children with Psychosomatic and Psychosocial Disorders carried out the present study to (i) disseminate knowledge about psychosomatic and psychosocial disorders of children; and (ii) establish a community-based network model to ensure effective communication among relevant institutions.MethodsTo disseminate knowledge of the psychosocial and psychosomatic disorders, the Research Group compiled the Handbook for Psychosomatic Disorders of Children and distributed it to pediatricians throughout Japan. A follow-up questionnaire survey was then carried out. Also, in order to examine the current status of the communication network between pediatricians and the related institutions, the Research Group conducted a questionnaire survey on general pediatricians.ResultsSixty-five percent of the respondents indicated that they were actually using the Handbook. The topics in the Handbook that were most frequently referred to by the respondents were attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, school refusal, eating disorders, and orthostatic dysregulation. Thirty-seven percent of the participants indicated changes in their behavior towards psychosomatic and psychosocial problems. The results of the survey on communication networks found that the pediatricians generally collaborated with different institutions depending on the nature of the problems, such as school refusal and bullying, developmental disorders, child abuse and maltreatment, and others.ConclusionPromotion of the Handbook would greatly contribute to improving the management of children with psychosomatic and psychosocial disorders, together with the construction of the basic network model for management of these children.

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