||2021 NEI Congress | Colorado Springs, CO & Virtual
November 3, 2021
The Littlest Victims: Optimizing Pediatric Care in Challenging Time
Presented by Dr. Jeffrey Strawn
||The 2021 NEI Congress is off to a strong start with the 5th Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Academy. Dr. Jeffrey Strawn opened the Academy with a topic of utmost importance as of late, pediatric anxiety. In this session, titled "The Littlest Victims: Optimizing Pediatric Care in Challenging Times", Dr. Strawn discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has produced significant increase in anxiety and related psychopathology in youth, including in those youth at highest risk for developing anxiety. SARS-CoV-2 rapidly enters the CNS and is associated with specific neurologic sequelae in some youth, including ADEM-like findings on neuroimaging (Figure 1).
Additionally, social anxiety and loneliness/social isolation in youth is related COVID-19. Dr. Stawn higlighted the treatment implications in this specific population, including:
When using CBT, consider shifting to address negative beliefs and processing of events, rather than emphasizing exposure
Consider exposure to social and performance situations using virtual means
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security when socially-anxious children and adolescents report improvement concurrent with school closures
On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) joined together to declare a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health and are calling on policymakers to join them, stating the pandemic is a leading factor driving this crisis.
Zeytinoglu S et al. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021;60(10):1300-1308. Abstract
Morrissette M. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2021;60(1):6-7.Abstract