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Review
, 22 (4), 655-73

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Hallucinations and Other Psychotic Symptoms in Children and Adolescents

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Review

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Hallucinations and Other Psychotic Symptoms in Children and Adolescents

Linmarie Sikich. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.

Abstract

Recognizing positive psychotic symptoms and their diagnostic context in youth is challenging. A large minority say they "hear things others do not hear," though they seldom present with complaints of hallucinations or delusions. Few have schizophrenia spectrum disorder, but many have other psychiatric disorders. Frequently, they have psychotic symptoms for an extended period before diagnosis. Clinicians should understand psychotic symptoms and their differential diagnoses. This article reviews the epidemiology, associated diagnoses, and prognosis of hallucinations and delusions in youth. Strategies for optimizing the clinical diagnostic interview, appropriate laboratory tests, indications for psychological testing, and rating scales are reviewed.

Keywords: Affective psychoses; Benign hallucinations; Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale for Children; Differential diagnosis; Early-onset schizophrenia; Hallucinations; Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale; Psychosis.

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