Dr. Linda  Alpert-Gillis  Phd image

Dr. Linda Alpert-Gillis Phd

300 Crittenden Blvd
Rochester NY 14642
585 756-6733
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: 009287
NPI: 1023045895
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Impact of pediatric mental health screening on clinical discussion and referral for services. - Clinical pediatrics
This study discusses the impact of mental health screening in pediatric primary care on the management of mental health concerns.Youth aged 11 years and their parents completed the Pediatric Symptom Checklist and chart reviews were used to gather information about discussion of mental health concerns and connection with mental health services. The study design was a post-intervention study with a concurrent comparison group of youth aged 12 years who were not offered a screening. The χ(2) or Fisher's exact tests and logistic regression were used to compare groups on outcome variables.Parents who completed a mental health screening for their child were more likely to be referred and attend mental health services, attend a psychiatrist appointment, and discuss their concerns with the primary care provider compared with the comparison group.Screening by parents improves detection of problems and fosters conversations with providers and subsequent connection with services.
Use of a brief standardized screening instrument in a primary care setting to enhance detection of social-emotional problems among youth in foster care. - Academic pediatrics
To determine whether systematic use of a validated social-emotional screening instrument in a primary care setting is feasible and improves detection of social-emotional problems among youth in foster care.Before-and-after study design, following a practice intervention to screen all youth in foster care for psychosocial problems using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a validated instrument with 5 subdomains. After implementation of systematic screening, youth aged 11 to 17 years and their foster parents completed the SDQ at routine health maintenance visits. We assessed feasibility of screening by measuring the completion rates of SDQ by youth and foster parents. We compared the detection of psychosocial problems during a 2-year period before systematic screening to the detection after implementation of systematic screening with the SDQ. We used chart reviews to assess detection at baseline and after implementing systematic screening.Altogether, 92% of 212 youth with routine visits that occurred after initiation of screening had a completed SDQ in the medical record, demonstrating high feasibility of systematic screening. Detection of a potential mental health problem was higher in the screening period than baseline period for the entire population (54% vs 27%, P < .001). More than one-fourth of youth had 2 or more significant social-emotional problem domains on the SDQ.Systematic screening for potential social-emotional problems among youth in foster care was feasible within a primary care setting and doubled the detection rate of potential psychosocial problems.Copyright © 2011 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reducing premature infants' length of stay and improving parents' mental health outcomes with the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment (COPE) neonatal intensive care unit program: a randomized, controlled trial. - Pediatrics
Although low birth weight premature infants and parents are at high risk for adverse health outcomes, there is a paucity of studies that test early NICU interventions with parents to prevent the development of negative parent-infant interaction trajectories and to reduce hospital length of stay. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of an educational-behavioral intervention program (ie, Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment) that was designed to enhance parent-infant interactions and parent mental health outcomes for the ultimate purpose of improving child developmental and behavior outcomes.A randomized, controlled trial was conducted with 260 families with preterm infants from 2001 to 2004 in 2 NICUs in the northeast United States. Parents completed self-administered instruments during hospitalization, within 7 days after infant discharge, and at 2 months' corrected age. Blinded observers rated parent-infant interactions in the NICU.All participants received 4 intervention sessions of audiotaped and written materials. Parents in the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment program received information and behavioral activities about the appearance and behavioral characteristics of preterm infants and how best to parent them. The comparison intervention contained information regarding hospital services and policies.Parental stress, depression, anxiety, and beliefs; parent-infant interaction during the NICU stay; NICU length of stay; and total hospitalization were measured.Mothers in the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment program reported significantly less stress in the NICU and less depression and anxiety at 2 months' corrected infant age than did comparison mothers. Blinded observers rated mothers and fathers in the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment program as more positive in interactions with their infants. Mothers and fathers also reported stronger beliefs about their parental role and what behaviors and characteristics to expect of their infants during hospitalization. Infants in the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment program had a 3.8-day shorter NICU length of stay (mean: 31.86 vs 35.63 days) and 3.9-day shorter total hospital length of stay (mean: 35.29 vs 39.19 days) than did comparison infants.A reproducible educational-behavioral intervention program for parents that commences early in the NICU can improve parent mental health outcomes, enhance parent-infant interaction, and reduce hospital length of stay.
Testing the theoretical framework of the COPE program for mothers of critically ill children: an integrative model of young children's post-hospital adjustment behaviors. - Journal of pediatric psychology
To test a theoretical model examining processes through which a parent-focused educational-behavioral intervention [Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment (COPE)] relates to children's post-hospital adjustment problems.Mothers (n = 143) and their 2-7-year-old children, unexpectedly hospitalized in two pediatric intensive care units, were randomized to COPE or control conditions. Maternal measures included parental beliefs, anxiety, negative mood, and child adjustment 3 months post discharge. Observers rated maternal support of their children during hospitalization.Structural equation modeling suggested that the model tested provided a reasonable fit to the data [chi2 (97 df) = 129.43; p = .016; root mean square error of approximation = .048; comparative fit index = .95]. COPE effects on children's post-hospital externalizing behaviors were indirect, via associations with parental beliefs and maternal negative mood state. Furthermore, COPE participation was associated with more maternal support of their children, which was also associated with less internalizing and externalizing behaviors 3 months post discharge.Implementing COPE may help avert future mental health problems in this high risk population. Understanding the processes by which an already empirically validated program relates to child outcomes is likely to aid clinicians and administrators in the widespread uptake of the COPE program.
Creating opportunities for parent empowerment: program effects on the mental health/coping outcomes of critically ill young children and their mothers. - Pediatrics
Increasing numbers of children in the United States (ie, approximately 200 children per 100,000 population) require intensive care annually, because of advances in pediatric therapeutic techniques and a changing spectrum of pediatric disease. These children are especially vulnerable to a multitude of short- and long-term negative emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes, including a higher risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a greater need for psychiatric treatment, compared with matched hospitalized children who do not require intensive care. In addition, the parents of these children are at risk for the development of PTSD, as well as other negative emotional outcomes (eg, depression and anxiety disorders). There has been little research conducted to systematically determine the effects of interventions aimed at improving psychosocial outcomes for critically ill children and their parents, despite recognition of the adverse effects of critical care hospitalization on the nonphysiologic well-being of patients and their families. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a preventive educational-behavioral intervention program, the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment (COPE) program, initiated early in the intensive care unit hospitalization on the mental health/psychosocial outcomes of critically ill young children and their mothers.A randomized, controlled trial with follow-up assessments 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after hospitalization was conducted with 174 mothers and their 2- to 7-year-old children who were unexpectedly hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) of 2 children's hospitals. The final sample of 163 mothers ranged in age from 18 to 52 years, with a mean of 31.2 years. Among the mothers reporting race/ethnicity, the sample included 116 white (71.2%), 33 African American (20.3%), 3 Hispanic (1.8%), and 2 Indian (1.2%) mothers. The mean age of the hospitalized children was 50.3 months. Ninety-nine children (60.7%) were male and 64 (39.3%) were female. The major reasons for hospitalization were respiratory problems, accidental trauma, neurologic problems, and infections. Fifty-seven percent (n = 93) of the children had never been hospitalized overnight, and none had experienced a previous PICU hospitalization.Mothers in the experimental (COPE) group received a 3-phase educational-behavioral intervention program 1) 6 to 16 hours after PICU admission, 2) 2 to 16 hours after transfer to the general pediatric unit, and 3) 2 to 3 days after their children were discharged from the hospital. Control mothers received a structurally equivalent control program. The COPE intervention was based on self-regulation theory, control theory, and the emotional contagion hypothesis. The COPE program, which was delivered with audiotapes and matching written information, as well as a parent-child activity workbook that facilitated implementing the audiotaped information, focused on increasing 1) parents' knowledge and understanding of the range of behaviors and emotions that young children typically display during and after hospitalization and 2) direct parent participation in their children's emotional and physical care. The COPE workbook, which was provided to parents and children after transfer from the PICU to the general pediatric unit, contained 3 activities to be completed before discharge from the hospital, ie, 1) puppet play to encourage expression of emotions in a nonthreatening manner, 2) therapeutic medical play to assist children in obtaining some sense of mastery and control over the hospital experience, and 3) reading and discussing Jenny's Wish, a story about a young child who successfully copes with a stressful hospitalization.Primary outcomes included maternal anxiety, negative mood state, depression, maternal beliefs, parental stress, and parent participation in their children's care, as well as child adjustment, which was assessed with the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (parent form). RESn (parent form).COPE mothers reported significantly less parental stress and participated more in their children's physical and emotional care on the pediatric unit, compared with control mothers, as rated by nurses who were blinded with respect to study group. In comparison with control mothers, COPE mothers reported less negative mood state, less depression, and fewer PTSD symptoms at certain follow-up assessments after hospitalization. In addition, COPE mothers reported stronger beliefs regarding their children's likely responses to hospitalization and how they could enhance their children's adjustment, compared with control mothers. COPE children, in comparison with control children, exhibited significantly fewer withdrawal symptoms 6 months after discharge, as well as fewer negative behavioral symptoms and externalizing behaviors at 12 months. COPE mothers also reported less hyperactivity and greater adaptability among their children at 12 months, compared with control mothers. One year after discharge, a significantly higher percentage of control group children (25.9%) exhibited clinically significant behavioral symptoms, compared with COPE children (2.3%). In addition, 6 and 12 months after discharge, significantly higher percentages of control group children exhibited clinically significant externalizing symptoms (6 months, 14.3%; 12 months, 22.2%), compared with COPE children (6 months, 1.8%; 12 months, 4.5%).The findings of this study indicated that mothers who received the COPE program experienced improved maternal functional and emotional coping outcomes, which resulted in significantly fewer child adjustment problems, in comparison with the control group. With the increasing prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and externalizing problems among children and the documented lack of mental health screening and early intervention services for children in this country, the COPE intervention could help protect this high-risk population of children from developing these troublesome problems. As a result, the mental health status of children after critical care hospitalization could be improved. With routine provision of the COPE program in PICUs throughout the country, family burdens and costs associated with the mental health treatment of these problems might be substantially reduced.

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