British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Dermatology assessment and support of mental health in children and young people with skin conditions: a multidisciplinary expert consensus statement and recommendations.
McPherson T., Ravenscroft J., Ali R., Barlow R., Beattie P., Bewley A., Bennett S., Bleiker T., Buckley L., Burgess G., Copperwheat S., Cunliffe T., Dejong H., Fazel M., Heyman I., Howard E., Lambert A., Manktelow C., Moledina Z., Mohandas P., Moss C., Northover G., Paz I., Proctor A., Roxborough C., Shibib S., Solman L., Srinivasan J., Wood D., Baron S.
BACKGROUND: Psychological and mental health difficulties are common in children and young people (CYP) living with skin conditions and can have a profound impact on wellbeing. There is limited guidance on how best to assess and support the mental health of this population, who are at risk of poor health outcomes. OBJECTIVES: To provide consensus-based recommendations on the assessment and monitoring of and support for mental health difficulties in CYP with skin conditions (affecting the skin, hair and nails); to address practical clinical implementation questions relating to consensus guidance; and to provide audit and research recommendations. METHODS: This set of recommendations was developed with reference to the AGREE II instrument. A systematic review and literature appraisal was carried out. A multidisciplinary consensus group was convened, with two virtual panel meetings held: an initial meeting to discuss the scope of the study, to review the current evidence and to identify areas for development; and a second meeting to agree on the content and wording of the recommendations. Recommendations were then circulated to stakeholders, following which amendments were made and agreed by email. RESULTS: The expert panel achieved consensus on 11 recommendations for healthcare workers managing CYP with skin conditions. A new patient-completed history-taking aid ('You and Your Skin') was developed and is being piloted. CONCLUSIONS: The recommendations focus on improved mental health assessments for CYP presenting with a skin condition, with clinical guidance and suggested screening measures included. Information on accessing psychological support for CYP, when required, is given, and recommendations for staff training in mental health and neurodiversity provided. Embedding a psychosocial approach within services treating CYP with skin disease should ensure that CYP with psychological needs are able to be identified, listened to, supported and treated. This is likely to improve health outcomes.