Assignment 1: Patient Education for Children and Adolescents – Solution

Assignment: Patient Education for Children and Adolescents

Patient education is an effective tool in supporting compliance and treatment for a diagnosis. It is important to consider effective ways to educate patients and their families about a diagnosis—such as coaching, brochures, or videos—and to recognize that the efficacy of any materials may differ based on the needs and learning preferences of a particular patient. Because patients or their families may be overwhelmed with a new diagnosis, it is important that materials provided by the practitioner clearly outline the information that patients need to know.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

For this Assignment, you will pretend that you are a contributing writer to a health blog. You are tasked with explaining important information about your assigned mental health disorder- Major depressive disorder in language appropriate for child/adolescent patients and/or their caregivers.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

To Prepare

your Instructor assign a major depressive disorder diagnosis for you to use for this Assignment.

Research signs and symptoms for your diagnosis, pharmacological treatments, nonpharmacological treatments, and appropriate community resources and referrals.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

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Patient Education for Children and Adolescents
Patient Education for Children and Adolescents

The Assignment

In a 400- to 500-word blog post written for a patient and/or caregiver audience, explain signs and symptoms for your diagnosis, pharmacological treatments, nonpharmacological treatments, and appropriate community resources and referrals.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

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Although you are not required to respond to colleagues, collegial discussion is welcome.

Add your references


OCD Diagnosis in Children and Adolescents

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition associated with obsessions and compulsions which interfere with an individual’s daily activities (Thapar et al., 2015). It begins in the early ages of 8-12 years or late teenage to adulthood. According to Westwell-Roper and Stewart (2019), children and adolescents with OCD exhibit obsessive symptoms like extreme attention to detail, obsession with dirt or germs, troubled thoughts about violence or taboo behaviors, and the urge to do everything right. Consequently, they also experience compulsive symptoms like excess reassurance, mental reviewing, excess cleaning, doubting, hoarding, and regrouping objects into a specific order. Thus, child psychiatrists should look out for these symptoms during the diagnosis of OCD in children.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

Pharmacological and Non-pharmacological Treatment of OCD in Children

Children with OCD are mostly treated with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) class of antidepressants, such as fluoxetine and sertraline (Kotapati et al., 2019)(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents). The medications elevate serotonin levels in the brain, improving mood and reducing anxiety. Besides, child psychiatrists can also prescribe antianxiety medications like clonazepam or alprazolam in cases of severe OCD in children and adolescents. Fleming (2020) observes that the medications are initially administered for short relief before introducing the children to SSRIs.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

Also, the children can be enrolled in non-pharmacological treatment processes, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The CBT techniques include exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP) and cognitive restructuring. Reid et al. (2021) observe that ERP involves exposing the child to factors contributing to obsessive behaviors while preventing them from engaging in compulsive behaviors(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents). The procedure reduces temporary relief caused by compulsive behaviors, enabling them to effectively confront the anxiety and get desensitized to it. Similarly, cognitive restructuring also reduces OCD by replacing the patient’s irrational thoughts with rational ones (Van Noppen et al., 2021). Challenging irrational thoughts and thinking patterns enable children to comprehend and align their thinking patterns with positive emotional responses.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

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Community Resources and Referrals

Children and adolescents with OCD can get help from community resources like the Seattle Children’s Hospital. The hospital offers diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare plans for OCD in children and adolescents (Seattle Children’s Hospital, 2023). It also partners with parents to enhance the provision of individualized treatment to children. Besides, they can also get help from the International OCD Foundation, a non-profit organization providing OCD education, care, and treatment across the United States (IOCDF, 2023). It also supports research on OCD and related disorders, which improves treatment outcomes for OCD patients.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)


Fleming, L. (2020). Anxiolytic Medications (Behavioral Health). Elsevier

IOCDF (2023). About the IOCDF. International OCD Foundation.

Kotapati, V. P., Khan, A. M., Dar, S., Begum, G., Bachu, R., Adnan, M., … & Ahmed, R. A. (2019). The effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in adolescents and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychiatry10, 523.

Reid, J. E., Laws, K. R., Drummond, L., Vismara, M., Grancini, B., Mpavaenda, D., & Fineberg, N. A. (2021). Cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure and response prevention in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Comprehensive Psychiatry106, 152223.

Seattle Children’s Hospital (2023). Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Thapar, A., Pine, D. S., Leckman, J. F., Scott, S., Snowling, M. J., & Taylor, E. A. (2015). Rutter’s Child and adolescent psychiatry (6th ed., pp. 841–857). Wiley Blackwell.(Patient Education for Children and Adolescents)

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Van Noppen, B., Sassano-Higgins, S., Appasani, R., & Sapp, F. (2021). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: 2021 update. Focus19(4), 430-443.

Westwell-Roper, C., & Stewart, S. E. (2019). Challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder. Indian Journal of Psychiatry61(Suppl 1), S119.

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