HealthDay News — Medicaid-insured children are at increased risk for mental health diagnoses and psychotropic prescriptions after hospitalization for an injury compared with pre-hospitalization, according to a study published online May 7 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Kylie M. Bushroe, from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues compared the rates of mental health diagnoses and psychotropic prescriptions in the 12 months pre- and post-injury at a pediatric trauma center (2005 to 2015) among 2,208 children enrolled in a managed-Medicaid program.

The researchers found that the rate of mental health diagnoses pre-injury was 95.9 per 1,000 person-years, compared with 156.7 per 1,000 post-injury (rate ratio [RR] 1.63). Post-injury, children ages 0 to 4 years with burns were more likely to have mental health diagnoses, after adjustment for race and ethnicity (adjusted RR [aRR] 8.56), as were children with head injuries (ages 0 to 4 years: aRR, 3.87; ages 5 to 9: aRR, 3.11; ages 10 to 14: aRR, 2.17; and ages 15 to 18: aRR, 5.37). The rate of psychotropic prescriptions was 121.7 per 1,000 person-years pre-injury versus 310.9 per 1,000 post-injury (RR, 2.55).

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“We identified increased mental health diagnoses and psychotropic prescriptions in children following hospitalization for injury,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text