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Journal Article


Fiks AG, Leslie LK. Sch. Ment. Health 2010; 2(2): 93-101.


(Copyright © 2010, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






Pediatricians understand their role as promoting both the physical and mental health of children from birth until adulthood. Within the context of this long-term relationship, parents approach clinicians to address a full range of behavioral concerns ranging from variations of normal development to major mental illness. In this commentary that builds upon the earlier manuscripts in this collection, we explore the pediatrician’s role in mental health care through the example of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is an ideal prototype for the exploration of partnership in mental health care because ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in childhood, it is commonly treated in primary care settings, multiple evidence-based treatments exist, personal values strongly influence the acceptability of treatment, treatment adherence is often poor, and effective treatment relies on the collaboration of pediatricians with families, schools, and the mental health system. Through the use of the Chronic Care Model for Child Health that emphasizes the importance of optimizing and coordinating systems of care for effective partnership, the following manuscript reviews the challenges and opportunities for pediatricians partnering with families and schools to address mental health problems. Strategies highlighted in the preceding papers are discussed within the context of this model.


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