Research on pediatric psychosomatic medicine in China includes the study of behavior problems and quality of life in children with epilepsy, asthma, obesity, diabetes, leukemia, and congenital malformations. Another important research focus is that of unexplained pediatric somatic symptoms. Research is usually funded by grants from organizations such as the National Natural Science Foundation of China, from local or regional foundations such as the Sichuan Science and Technology Department, or more rarely from commercial companies. Although the number of publications has increased in recent years, there is still a marked lack of multicenter clinical research and nationwide epidemiological studies.


Brazil is a South American country with 186 million people. Of the entire population, 12% are classified as indigent and 30% as poor. Approximately 66 million Brazilians are younger than 18 years of age. The Brazilian Association of Psychiatry (Associagao Brasileira de Psiquiatria 2009), in partnership with the Institute IBOPE (Instituto Brasileiro de Opiniao Pública e Estatística [Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics]), conducted a national survey to assess the mental health of Brazilian children. The study estimated the prevalence of symptoms of mental disorders commonly occurring during childhood and adolescence (ages 6-17 years) and the forms of care most often used. In August 2008, 2,002 interviews were conducted in 142 municipalities in all regions of Brazil. According to the survey,

12.6% of mothers reported having a child with mental health problems severe enough to require treatment or specialist help. (This number equates to about 5 million children throughout Brazil.) Of these, 28.9% could not or did not have access to public assistance, 46.7% were treated through the Sistema Unico de Saúde (the Brazilian National Health System), and 24.2% were treated through a private health plan or paid for care out of pocket.

Brazil has one child and adolescent psychiatrist for every 33,561 individuals with severe symptoms of psychiatric illness (Moraes et al. 2008), which is equivalent to fewer than 3 psychiatrists for every 100,000 individuals younger than 20 years with a severe mental disorder. In contrast, the United States has 160 psychiatrists for every 100,000 potential patients (Thomas and Holzer 2006).

Brazil has numerous university medical centers, located primarily in the larger cities. Brazil also has 140 publicly financed federal medical schools, although only 15 of these have child psychiatry programs. Psychiatric hospitals cater predominantly to adult patients, although a small portion of them also treat children and adolescents. A small number of child and adolescent psychiatrists participate in Centers for Psychosocial Care for children and youth (known as CAPSi), which are multidisci-plinary team day treatment programs distributed throughout the country. Data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health indicate that only 264 CAPSi centers specialize in mental health care for children and adolescents (Associaçâo Brasileira de Psiquiatria 2009).

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