Objectives: To describe practical ways for pediatric providers to screen children for exposure to potentially traumatic events and trauma symptoms, provide brief office-based pediatric interventions for trauma-exposed children, engage families in mental health care referrals, and recognize elements of evidence-based practices for traumatized children.
Main exposure: Many children exposed to potentially traumatic events develop severe and long-lasting negative somatic and psychological problems. Pediatric providers are often ideally situated to detect children with these symptoms, provide office-based interventions, and make referrals to optimal community treatment providers.
Main outcome measures: Several comprehensive literature reviews of evidence-based treatments for traumatized children conducted by other organizations were evaluated and summarized for their relevance to primary care pediatricians.
Results: Optimal pediatric screening and office-based interventions for traumatized children are described. Evidence-based practices for traumatized children are summarized and their common treatment elements extracted. Suggestions for engaging families in mental health care referrals are included.
Conclusions: Pediatric providers can identify and provide office-based interventions for traumatized children as well as play a critical role in referring children for optimal mental health treatments.