Réflexion sur l’évolution à 10 ans des urgences pédopsychiatriques, CHRU-Nancy - Université de Lorraine Access content directly
Journal Articles L'Encéphale Year : 2021

The evolution of child psychiatry emergencies: Results and reflections from a Nancy University Hospital study

Réflexion sur l’évolution à 10 ans des urgences pédopsychiatriques, CHRU-Nancy


Introduction. – Mental illness is one of the most common causes of disability, morbidity and mortality in childhood. According to the scientific literature, the prevalence of mental health disorders is an estimated 10% to 20% in the USA and similar results are found in France. Although primordial, outpatient care often appears insufficient with inequalities in its geographical distribution and its accessibility. These past decades have been marked by an increase in consultations for mental disorders in pediatric emergency departments. Is this trend indicative of a “defect” in the healthcare organization? Identifying the root causes of this inflation in psychiatric consultations seems of paramount importance in the improvement of healthcare policies. In France and worldwide, only a few studies deal with this subject. That is why we proposed to observe the evolution of the number of consultations for mental health reasons in the pediatric emergency department of Nancy University Hospital and to detail their characteristics. Materials and methods. – Ancillary comparative and retrospective study (2003–2013) on minors having received a child psychiatry consultation within the pediatric emergency department of Nancy University Hospital. Results. – The number of consultations for mental health reasons increased by 119% (97 in 2003; 212 in 2013), while consultations for pediatrics reasons remained stable over the period studied. Consultations mainly dealt with females representing 55.6% of consultations in 2003 and 63.7% in 2013. Mean age of consultants was stable: 13.9 years (standard deviation = 3.3 years) in 2003; 14.1 (2.5) years in 2013. Family structure witnessed a three-fold increase in the single-parent model. Regarding consultation motives, behavioral disorders were significantly more represented in 2013: 27.7% (RR = 1.7; 95% CI 1.0–2.8; P < 0.05) versus 16.5%. As far as diagnosis is concerned (ICD-10), emotional and behavioral disorders increased to 35.9% from 12.6% (RR = 2.8; IC95% 1.6–5.1; P = 0.0001). Conclusions. – In France, as well as in other western countries, the number of visits in pediatric emergency departments for mental health reasons more than doubled over a 10-year span. This growth mostly concerned externalizing disorders as a motive for consultation. Causes for this increase are multifacto- rial and closely related to the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in children. Some studies showed that economic factors played a major role on mental illness during such a downturn as the financial crisis of 2007–2008. Unemployment caused by economic crises can weaken pediatric caregivers and therefore their patients. Evolution of family structure and value also explains this trend. These past decades, the two-parent model, relevant till the 1960s, has evolved to a point where single parents are more quickly overwhelmed. Family values are now focused on consensus rather than duty and hedonism has become a central value. Women are more involved in the working world which became for all a performance field. Several studies have shown that social settings where competitiveness is the norm breed externali- zed disorders in children by advocating short-term efficiency. Moreover, the widespread use of screens in households as well as early exposure impact the psychomotor development, decrease the amount of sleep and may be responsible for the occurrence of many psychiatric disorders. There are some epidemiologi- cal reasons too. In 1971, Omran introduced a concept called “epidemiological transition” explaining how mental health issues appeared in the limelight through to the decline of infectious and cardiovascular diseases. This phenomenon has already occurred in western countries which could explain the increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders. In Africa, there is evidence it may have already started. Beyond all these considerations, the increase in consultations for mental disorders in pediatric emergency depart- ments can be explained by a change in care consumption habits. Going straight to the local emergency department, accessible on a 24/7 basis, is easier than waiting for an outpatient appointment and is also free for the have-nots lacking proper insurance coverage. Scarce resources in ambulatory care may also explain the increased recourse to emergency services. Several reports have shown a lack of child psy- chiatrists and their uneven geographical distribution. For example, in the US only a third of children with mental disorders receive proper care, a lack which doubled between 1997 and 2010. Despite the reason for this trend, it is important to propose a better fitting of the healthcare system to the population needs, and to improve prevention and early identification. All these changes require further collective reflection.
Introduction.-Ces dernières décennies sont marquées par une majoration des consultations aux urgences pédiatriques pour des motifs pédopsychiatriques, dont les origines sont probablement multiples. En France, peu d'études traitent ce sujet. C'est pourquoi nous avons proposé d'observer le nombre de consultations pour motif pédopsychiatrique au service des urgences pédiatriques du CHRU de Nancy et de préciser leurs caractéristiques. Matériel et méthode.-Étude ancillaire comparative rétrospective (2003-2013) portant sur des mineurs ayant bénéficié d'une consultation de pédopsychiatrie au sein du service des urgences pédiatriques du CHRU de Nancy. Résultats.-Les consultations ont augmenté de 119 % entre 2003 et 2013 (n = 97 ; n = 212). Elles sont majoritairement féminines avec 55,6 % des consultations en 2003 et 63,7 % en 2013. L'âge moyen des consultants est stable : 13,9 ans (écart-type = 3,3 ans) en 2003 ; 14,1 (2,5) ans en 2013. La structure familiale s'est modifiée avec une multiplication par 3 du modèle monoparental. Concernant les motifs de consultation, les troubles du comportement sont davantage représentés en 2013 : 27,7 % vs 16,5 % (RR = 1,7 ; IC95 % 1,0-2,8 ; p < 0,05). Conclusions.-En France, comme dans les autres pays occidentaux, le nombre de consultations aux urgences pédiatriques pour des motifs pédopsychiatriques a augmenté avec une majoration des troubles du comportement comme motif de consultation. Les causes de cette augmentation sont multifactorielles : économiques, familiales, sociétales, épidémiologiques.. . Afin de répondre à cette évolution, la prévention, le repérage précoce et l'adaptation des réponses du système de soins aux besoins de la population nécessitent une réflexion collective.
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Dates and versions

hal-03883201 , version 1 (07-04-2023)



J Boyer, A Cautenet, Fabienne Ligier. Réflexion sur l’évolution à 10 ans des urgences pédopsychiatriques, CHRU-Nancy. L'Encéphale, 2021, 47, pp.348 - 355. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2020.08.011⟩. ⟨hal-03883201⟩
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