Concluding Comments

The foregoing review suggests that there are widely differing models for the practice of pediatric psychosomatic medicine. Support for psychiatric consultation varies not only from country to country but also within individual health care systems, which offer varied degrees of acceptance and support for psychosomatic medicine services. Attitudes and knowledge about the benefits of mental health consultation vary, both internationally and within the United States (Alhamad et al. 2006).

The lack of strong empirically based data to support the financial and psychological benefits of such consultation has historically made it difficult for departments of psychiatry and psychology to confi dently advocate for support for their services despite the strong clinical experience of the value of such services (G√ľndel et al. 2000). With the exception of a small number of studies with adult patients, limited data are available to demonstrate cost savings or reductions in length of stay as a result of mental health consultation within the medical setting (Andreoli et al. 2003; Levitan and Kornfeld 1981; Strain et al. 1994). In this textbook, contributors summarize much of the available evidence that does support the benefits and efficacy of interventions within pediat-ric psychosomatic medicine, with the goal of promoting the expansion and integration of this important specialty within the broader health care system.

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