Letters

Do we need specialist units for adolescents in hospitals?

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7309.401 (Published 18 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:401

Such units are valuable in Australia

  1. Susan Sawyer, associate professor,
  2. Leanne Shea, nurse manager,
  3. George Patton, professor
  1. Centre for Adolescent Health, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
  2. 79 West Heath Road, London NW3 7TH

    EDITOR—Viner argues that sufficient adolescents are admitted to hospitals in the United Kingdom to warrant specific facilities.1 Macfarlane and Blum in their editorial acknowledge the developmental requirements of young people but seem less certain about the value of dedicated units for adolescents.2 We argue that the needs of particular groups of young people exceed those of normal adolescents, which makes special units particularly valuable.

    Firstly, young people admitted with acute medical and surgical conditions, such as asthma and injury, not uncommonly have underlying behavioural or mental health problems that affect their presentation as well as subsequent health outcomes. Comorbidities are more likely …

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