Psychotropic Medication Management within Residential Treatment Centers: Physician Opinions about Difficulties and Barriers



Annette K. Griffith, Michael H. Epstein, Jonathan C. Huefner

Journal of Child and Family Studies

May 2014, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 745-751



Research has shown that between 40 and 98 % of youth entering residential treatment are taking at least one psychotropic medication and that psychotropic medication management is often an integral component of treatment in residential settings. To determine physician opinion about the difficulty of managing psychotropic medications for youth in residential treatment and to determine the resources that are used in the process, a survey study was conducted. Overall, physicians indicated that youth involved in residential settings were much more complex than those in traditional outpatient settings, due to multiple mental health diagnoses, polypharmacy, and unknown treatment histories. They also reported that many existing resources are not applicable to youth, particularly those in residential settings, and that they are difficult to read and interpret.