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Historically, there has been a shortage of child psychiatrists in the United States, undermining access to care. This study updated trends in the growth and distribution of child psychiatrists over the past decade.METHODS:
Data from the Area Health Resource Files were used to compare the number of child psychiatrists per 100 000 children ages 0 to 19 between 2007 and 2016 by state and county. We also examined sociodemographic characteristics associated with the density of child psychiatrists at the county level over this period using negative binomial multivariable models.RESULTS:
From 2007 to 2016, the number of child psychiatrists in the United States increased from 6590 to 7991, a 21.3% gain. The number of child psychiatrists per 100 000 children also grew from 8.01 to 9.75, connoting a 21.7% increase. County- and state-level growth varied widely, with 6 states observing a decline in the ratio of child psychiatrists (ID, IN, KS, ND, SC, and SD) and 6 states increasing by >50% (AK, AR, NH, NV, OK, and RI). Seventy percent of counties had no child psychiatrists in both 2007 and 2016. Child psychiatrists were significantly more likely to practice in high-income counties (P < .001), counties with higher levels of postsecondary education (P < .001), and metropolitan counties compared with those adjacent to metropolitan regions (P < .05).CONCLUSIONS:
Despite the increased ratio of child psychiatrists per 100 000 children in the United States over the past decade, there remains a dearth of child psychiatrists, particularly in parts of the United States with lower levels of income and education.
Pediatric sepsis is a major public health concern, and robust surveillance tools are needed to characterize its incidence, outcomes, and trends. The increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) in the United States creates an opportunity to conduct reliable, pragmatic, and generalizable population-level surveillance using routinely collected clinical data rather than administrative claims or resource-intensive chart review. In 2015, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recruited sepsis investigators and representatives of key professional societies to develop an approach to adult sepsis surveillance using clinical data recorded in EHRs. This led to the creation of the adult sepsis event definition, which was used to estimate the national burden of sepsis in adults and has been adapted into a tool kit to facilitate widespread implementation by hospitals. In July 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a new multidisciplinary pediatric working group to tailor an EHR-based national sepsis surveillance approach to infants and children. Here, we describe the challenges specific to pediatric sepsis surveillance, including evolving clinical definitions of sepsis, accommodation of age-dependent physiologic differences, identifying appropriate EHR markers of infection and organ dysfunction among infants and children, and the need to account for children with medical complexity and the growing regionalization of pediatric care. We propose a preliminary pediatric sepsis event surveillance definition and outline next steps for refining and validating these criteria so that they may be used to estimate the national burden of pediatric sepsis and support site-specific surveillance to complement ongoing initiatives to improve sepsis prevention, recognition, and treatment.
The 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine (9vHPV) was approved for females and males aged 9 to 26 years in 2014. We analyzed postlicensure surveillance reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).METHODS:
We searched VAERS data for US reports of adverse events (AEs) after 9vHPV from December 2014 through December 2017. We calculated reporting rates and conducted empirical Bayesian data mining to identify disproportional reporting. Physicians reviewed reports for selected prespecified conditions.RESULTS:
VAERS received 7244 reports after 9vHPV: 31.2% among females, 21.6% among males, and for 47.2%, sex was not reported. Overall, 97.4% of reports were nonserious. Dizziness, syncope, headache, and injection site reactions were most commonly reported; the most commonly reported AEs were similar between females and males. Two reports of death after 9vHPV were verified; no information in autopsy reports or death certificates suggested a causal relationship with vaccination. Approximately 28 million 9vHPV doses were distributed during the study period; crude AE reporting rates were 259 reports per million 9vHPV doses distributed for all reports and 7 per million doses distributed for serious reports. Syncope (a known AE associated with human papillomavirus vaccination) and several types of vaccine administration errors (eg, administered at wrong age) exceeded the statistical threshold for empirical Bayesian data mining findings.CONCLUSIONS:
No new or unexpected safety concerns or reporting patterns of 9vHPV with clinically important AEs were detected. The safety profile of 9vHPV is consistent with data from prelicensure trials and from postmarketing safety data of its predecessor, the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine.
Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and causes certain anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers. The 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine (9vHPV) provides protection against additional types not included in the quadrivalent vaccine. We conducted near real-time vaccine safety surveillance for 24 months after the vaccine became available in the Vaccine Safety Datalink.METHODS:
Immunizations and adverse events were extracted weekly from October 2015 to October 2017 from standardized data files for persons 9 to 26 years old at 6 Vaccine Safety Datalink sites. Prespecified adverse events included anaphylaxis, allergic reaction, appendicitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, injection site reaction, pancreatitis, seizure, stroke, syncope, and venous thromboembolism. The observed and expected numbers of events after 9vHPV were compared weekly by using sequential methods. Both historical and concurrent comparison groups were used to identify statistical signals for adverse events. Unexpected signals were investigated by medical record review and/or additional analyses.RESULTS:
During 105 weeks of surveillance, 838 991 doses of 9vHPV were administered. We identified unexpected statistical signals for 4 adverse events: appendicitis among boys 9 to 17 years old after dose 3; pancreatitis among men 18 to 26 years old; and allergic reactions among girls 9 to 17 years old and women 18 to 26 years old after dose 2. On further evaluation, which included medical record review, temporal scan analysis, and additional epidemiological analyses, we did not confirm signals for any adverse events.CONCLUSIONS:
After 2 years of near real-time surveillance of 9vHPV and several prespecified adverse events, no new safety concerns were identified.
The BabySeq Project is a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and aimed at exploring the medical, behavioral, and economic impacts of integrating genomic sequencing into the care of both healthy newborns and newborns who are sick. Infants were randomly assigned to receive standard of care or standard of care plus sequencing. The protocol and consent specified that only childhood-onset conditions would be returned. When 1 child was found to carry a BRCA2 mutation despite a negative family history, the research team experienced moral distress about nondisclosure and sought institutional review board permission to disclose. The protocol was then modified to require participants to agree to receive results for adult-onset-only conditions as a precondition to study enrollment. The BabySeq team asserted that their new protocol was in the child’s best interest because having one’s parents alive and well provides both an individual child benefit and a "family benefit." We begin with a short description of BabySeq and the controversy regarding predictive genetic testing of children for adult-onset conditions. We then examine the ethical problems with (1) the revised BabySeq protocol and (2) the concept of family benefit as a justification for the return of adult-onset-only conditions. We reject family benefit as a moral reason to expand genomic sequencing of children beyond conditions that present in childhood. We also argue that researchers should design their pediatric studies to avoid, when possible, identifying adult-onset-only genetic variants and that parents should not be offered the return of this information if discovered unless relevant for the child’s current or imminent health.
We present the case of a 2-year-old boy with epidermolysis bullosa and supraglottic stenosis whose parents refuse an elective tracheostomy because of the significant care the tracheostomy would require. The patient’s family lives in a rural area with few health care resources and his parents are already handling hours of daily skin care for his epidermolysis bullosa. In an attempt to convince the parents to pursue the intervention, the medical team recommends that the family move to an area with additional resources to assist in the child’s care. The parents refuse to move, citing the many benefits their home environment provides for their son. The medical team calls an ethics consultation, questioning whether this decision constitutes medical neglect. This case raises important questions about medical decision-making in pediatrics. First, is a parent’s refusal of a recommended medical intervention because it would require moving their family to a new environment a reasonable decision? Second, how broadly can parents define their child’s best interest? Should only physical interests be included when making medical decisions? Is there a limit to what can be considered a relevant interest? Third, can parents only consider the interests of the individual child, or can they consider the interests of other members of the family? Finally, what is the threshold for overruling a parental decision? Is it whenever the parent’s definition of a patient’s best interest is different from the medical team’s, or do other criteria have to be met?
To examine associations of the timing of complementary feeding (CF) introduction with adiposity throughout childhood.METHODS:
We studied 1013 children from Project Viva. Our exposure was CF introduction, categorized as <4 months (19%), 4 to <6 months (68%; reference group), and ≥6 months of age (14%). Our outcomes included adiposity measures in midchildhood (mean: 7.9 years; SD 0.8; n = 896) and early adolescence (mean: 13.2 years; SD 0.9; n = 850). We used linear regression models adjusted for potential confounders and ran separate models for infants who were breastfed at least partly for ≥4 months (categorized as breastfed; 69%) and infants who were never breastfed or stopped breastfeeding at <4 months (categorized as formula fed; 31%).RESULTS:
CF initiated at <4 months was associated with higher adiposity in midchildhood in breastfed children; associations persisted into adolescence for waist circumference, truncal fat mass, and the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfolds (eg, waist circumference: confounder-adjusted β 2.97 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47 to 5.47] cm). The effect estimates were larger in formula-fed children, with more associations persisting into adolescence (eg, waist circumference: adjusted β 3.42 [95% CI 0.12 to 6.71] cm). CF initiated at ≥6 months was associated with a higher subscapular/triceps skinfold ratio in midchildhood and adolescence (adjusted β 0.13 [95% CI 0.02 to 0.25]) in formula-fed children.CONCLUSIONS:
We found associations of early CF introduction with higher adiposity measurements in breastfed and formula-fed children and associations of late introduction of CF with higher adiposity in formula-fed children.
To assess trends and behavioral patterns of marijuana and cigarette and/or cigar (ie, smoked tobacco) use among 18- to 22-year-old US young adults who were in or not in college.METHODS:
Data were from the 2002–2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Past-30-day and past-12-month use of marijuana and smoked tobacco were assessed by college enrollment status. 2 tests were used to examine within- and between-group differences. Trends were assessed by using logistic regression and relative percentage change (RPC).RESULTS:
Among both college and noncollege individuals during 2002 to 2016, exclusive marijuana use increased (faster increase among college students; RPC = 166.6 vs 133.7), whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use decreased (faster decrease among college students; RPC = –47.4 vs –43.2). In 2016, 51.6% of noncollege and 46.8% of college individuals reported past-12-month usage of marijuana and/or smoked tobacco products (P < .05). Exclusive marijuana use was higher among college than noncollege individuals, both for past-30-day (11.5% vs 8.6%) and past-12-month use (14.6% vs 10.8%). Exclusive smoked tobacco use was higher among noncollege than college individuals, both for past-30-day (17.7% vs 10.4%) and past-12-month (17.4% vs 12.2%) use (P < .05).CONCLUSIONS:
Exclusive marijuana use is increasing among young adults overall, whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use is decreasing: faster rates are seen among college students. Exclusive marijuana use is higher among college students, whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use is higher among noncollege individuals. Surveillance of tobacco and marijuana use among young people is important as the policy landscape for these products evolves.
To evaluate the longitudinal effects of metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) on the prevalence of musculoskeletal and lower extremity (LE) pain, physical function, and health-related quality of life.METHODS:
The Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery study (NCT00474318) prospectively collected data on 242 adolescents undergoing MBS at 5 centers over a 3-year follow-up. Joint pain and physical function outcomes were assessed by using the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, Impact of Weight on Quality of Life – Kids, and the Short Form 36 Health Survey. Adolescents with Blount disease (n = 9) were excluded.RESULTS:
Prevalent musculoskeletal and LE pain were reduced by 40% within 12 months and persisted over 3 years. Adjusted models revealed a 6% lower odds of having musculoskeletal pain (odds ratio = 0.94, 95% confidence interval: 0.92–0.99) and a 10% lower odds of having LE pain (odds ratio = 0.90, 95% confidence interval: 0.86–0.95) per 10% reduction of BMI. The prevalence of poor physical function (Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index score >0) declined from 49% to <20% at 6 months (P < .05), Physical comfort and the physical component scores, measured by the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life – Kids and the Short Form 36 Health Survey, improved at 6 months postsurgery and beyond (P < .01). Poor physical function predicted persistent joint pain after MBS.CONCLUSIONS:
Joint pain, impaired physical function, and impaired health-related quality of life significantly improve after MBS. These benefits in patient-reported outcomes support the use of MBS in adolescents with severe obesity and musculoskeletal pain and suggest that MBS in adolescence may reverse and reduce multiple risk factors for future joint disease.
Pediatric surveillance of young children depends on providers’ assessment of developmental milestones, yet normative data are sparse. Our objectives were to develop new norms for common milestones to aid in clinical interpretation of milestone attainment.METHODS:
We analyzed responses to the developmental screening form of the Survey of Well-being of Young Children from 41 465 screens across 3 states. Associations between developmental status and a range of child characteristics were analyzed, and norms for individual questions were compared to guidelines regarding attainment of critical milestones from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).RESULTS:
A contemporary resource of normative data for developmental milestone attainment was established. Lower developmental status was associated with child age in the presence of positive behavioral screening scores (P < .01), social determinants of health (P < .01), Medicaid (P < .01), male sex (P < .01), and child race (P < .01). Comparisons between Survey of Well-being of Young Children developmental questions and CDC guidelines reveal that a high percentage of children are reported to pass milestones by the age at which the CDC states that "most children pass" and that an even higher percentage of children are reported to pass milestones by the age at which the CDC states that parents should "act early." An interactive data visualization tool that can assist clinicians in real-time developmental screening and surveillance interpretation is also provided.CONCLUSIONS:
Detailed normative data on individual developmental milestones can help clinicians guide caregivers’ expectations for milestone attainment, thereby offering greater specificity to CDC guidelines.
Millions of children are subjected to abuse, neglect, and displacement, and millions more are at risk for not achieving their developmental potential. Although there is a global movement to change this, driven by children’s rights, progress is slow and impeded by political considerations. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global comprehensive commitment to children’s rights ratified by all countries in the world except the United States (because of concerns about impingement on sovereignty and parental authority), has a special General Comment on "Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood." More recently, the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund have launched the Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development (ECD), which calls for public policies that promote nurturing care interventions and addresses 5 interrelated components that are necessary for optimal ECD. This move is also complemented by the Human Capital Project of the World Bank, providing a focus on the need for investments in child health and nutrition and their long-term benefits. In this article, we outline children’s rights under international law, the underlying scientific evidence supporting attention to ECD, and the philosophy of nurturing care that ensures that children’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled. We also provide pediatricians anywhere with the policy and rights-based frameworks that are essential for them to care for and advocate for children and families to ensure optimal developmental, health, and socioemotional outcomes. These recommendations do not necessarily reflect American Academy of Pediatrics policy.
Incomplete subspecialty referrals, whether unscheduled or unattended, represent unmet patient needs and an opportunity to improve patient safety and experiences. Our objectives were to describe the rates of appointment scheduling and visit attendance after pediatric subspecialty referral and to examine patient and systems factors associated with scheduled referrals and attended appointments.METHODS:
We conducted a retrospective review of referrals within a network of 52 primary and urgent care sites from November 2016 to October 2017. We included referrals for children ≤17 years old referred to medical or surgical subspecialists. We examined patient and health systems factors associated with (1) appointment scheduling and (2) visit attendance.RESULTS:
Of 20 466 referrals, 13 261 (65%) resulted in an appointment scheduled within 90 days and 10 514 (51%) resulted in a visit attended within 90 days. In adjusted analyses, referral to surgical subspecialists was associated with an increased likelihood of appointment scheduling but a decreased likelihood of visit attendance. Compared with appointments scheduled within 7 days, appointments with intervals from referral to scheduled appointment exceeding 7 days were associated with decreasing likelihood of visit attendance (adjusted odds ratio 8–14 days 0.48; 95% confidence interval 0.37–0.61). Patient factors associated with decreased likelihood of both appointment scheduling and visit attendance included African American race, public insurance, and lower zip code median income.CONCLUSIONS:
Patient and system factors were associated with variation in appointment scheduling and visit attendance. Decreased interval to appointment was significantly associated with visit attendance. These factors represent targets for interventions to improve referral completion.
To determine if NICU teams participating in a multicenter quality improvement (QI) collaborative achieve increased compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) core elements for antibiotic stewardship and demonstrate reductions in antibiotic use (AU) among newborns.METHODS:
From January 2016 to December 2017, multidisciplinary teams from 146 NICUs participated in Choosing Antibiotics Wisely, an Internet-based national QI collaborative conducted by the Vermont Oxford Network consisting of interactive Web sessions, a series of 4 point-prevalence audits, and expert coaching designed to help teams test and implement the CDC core elements of antibiotic stewardship. The audits assessed unit-level adherence to the CDC core elements and collected patient-level data about AU. The AU rate was defined as the percentage of infants in the NICU receiving 1 or more antibiotics on the day of the audit.RESULTS:
The percentage of NICUs implementing the CDC core elements increased in each of the 7 domains (leadership: 15.4%–68.8%; accountability: 54.5%–95%; drug expertise: 61.5%–85.1%; actions: 21.7%–72.3%; tracking: 14.7%–78%; reporting: 6.3%–17.7%; education: 32.9%–87.2%; P < .005 for all measures). The median AU rate decreased from 16.7% to 12.1% (P for trend < .0013), a 34% relative risk reduction.CONCLUSIONS:
NICU teams participating in this QI collaborative increased adherence to the CDC core elements of antibiotic stewardship and achieved significant reductions in AU.
Infants are often assumed to be immune to measles through maternal antibodies transferred during pregnancy and, in many countries, receive their first measles-containing vaccine at 12 to 15 months. Immunity may wane before this time in measles-eliminated settings, placing infants at risk for measles and complications. We investigated humoral immunity to measles in infants <12 months of age in Ontario, Canada.METHODS:
We selected sera collected at a tertiary pediatric hospital from infants <12 months who were born at ≥37 weeks’ gestational age. We excluded infants with conditions that affect antibody levels. We selected ≤25 sera from 8 predetermined age bands and tested them for measles-neutralizing antibody using the plaque-reduction neutralization test. We calculated the proportion immune at each age band, and predictors of infant susceptibility were assessed by using multivariable logistic regression and Poisson regression.RESULTS:
Of 196 infant sera, 56% (110 of 196) were from boys, and 35% (69 of 196) were from infants with underlying medical conditions. In the first month, 20% (5 of 25) of infants had antibodies below the protective threshold, which increased to 92% (22 of 24) by 3 months. By 6 months, all infants had titers below the protective threshold. In a multivariable analysis, infant age was the strongest predictor of susceptibility (odds ratio = 2.13 for each additional month increase; 95% confidence interval: 1.52–2.97).CONCLUSIONS:
Most infants were susceptible to measles by 3 months of age in this elimination setting. Our findings inform important policy discussions relating to the timing of the first dose of measles-containing vaccine and infant postexposure prophylaxis recommendations.
Asthma exacerbations in children are a leading cause of missed school days and health care use. Patients discharged from the hospital often do not fill discharge prescriptions and are at risk for future exacerbations.METHODS:
A multidisciplinary team aimed to increase the percentage of patients discharged from the hospital after an asthma exacerbation with their medications in-hand from 15% to 80%. Tools from the model of improvement were used to establish a process map, key driver diagram, and iterative plan-do-study-act cycles. Statistical process control charts were used to track the proportion of patients discharged with their medications in-hand as the primary outcome. Initiating multidisciplinary daily discharge huddles on the unit was the key intervention that facilitated change in the system.RESULTS:
During the study period, the percentage of patients with asthma who received their medications in-hand increased from 15% to >80% for all eligible children and >90% for children with public insurance. Children had a median age of 6.7 years, 47% were female, and 83.8% identified as non-Hispanic African American. Through iterative meetings and mapping with the multidisciplinary team, a process map for bedside delivery and a key driver diagram were created. Balancing measures, specifically length of stay and discharge medications forgotten at the hospital, remained constant.CONCLUSIONS:
Improvements in increasing medication possession at the time of discharge for children hospitalized with asthma were facilitated by multidisciplinary engagement. Standardizing discharge initiatives may play a key role in improving discharge transitions for children with asthma.
Disparities in health service use have been described across a range of sociodemographic factors. Patterns of PICU use have not been thoroughly assessed.METHODS:
This was a population-level, retrospective analysis of admissions to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center PICU between 2011 and 2016. Residential addresses of patients were geocoded and spatially joined to census tracts. Pediatric patients were eligible for inclusion if they resided within Hamilton County, Ohio. PICU admission and bed-day rates were calculated by using numerators of admissions and bed days, respectively, over a denominator of tract child population. Relationships between tract-level PICU use and child poverty were assessed by using Spearman’s and analysis of variance. Analyses were event based; children admitted multiple times were counted as discrete admissions.RESULTS:
There were 4071 included admissions involving 3129 unique children contributing a total of 12 297 PICU bed days. Child poverty was positively associated with PICU admission rates (r = 0.59; P < .001) and bed-day rates (r = 0.47; P < .001). When tracts were grouped into quintiles based on child poverty rates, the PICU bed-day rate ranged from 23.4 days per 1000 children in the lowest poverty quintile to 81.9 days in the highest poverty quintile (P < .001).CONCLUSIONS:
The association between poverty and poor health outcomes includes pediatric intensive care use. This association exists for children who grow up in poverty and around poverty. Future efforts should characterize the interplay between patient- and neighborhood-level risk factors and explore neighborhood-level interventions to improve child health.