Behavior problems and psychotropic drug use in children and adolescents with mental retardation.

H. Tobi, A. de Bildt, E.J. Mulder, T. Scheers, R.B. Minderaa

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Background: Children with mental retardation (MR) are a vulnerable not much studied population. Objectives: To investigate psychopharmacotherapy in children with MR and to examine possible factors associated with psychopharmacotherapy. Methods: Participants were recruited through all facilities for children with mental retardation in Friesland, the Netherlands, resulting in 865 participants, 4–18 years old, including all levels of mental retardation. The DBC and the PDD-MRS were used to assess general behavior problems and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Information on medication was collected through a parent-interview. Logistic regression was used to investigate the relationship between the psychotropic drug use and the factors DBC, PDD, housing, age, gender and level of MR. Results: 10% of the participants used psychotropic medication. Main factors associated with receiving psychopharmacotherapy were PDD (OR 2.31) and DBC score (OR 1.03). Living away from home and MR-level also played a role whereas gender and age did not. DBC score was associated with clonidine, stimulants and anti-psychotics. PDD was the main factor associated with anti-psychotics use (OR 5.7). Discussion: Psychopharmacotherapy is especially prevalent among children with MR and comorbid PDD and general behavior problems. Although many psychotropic drugs are used off-label, specific drugs were associated with specific psychiatric or behavior problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-151
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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