Acute pediatric psychiatry

We are writing this as an open letter to the physicians of BC, primarily family physicians, pediatricians, and psychiatrists. We are asking the doctors to help us determine the need for acute psychiatric treatment services for children age 11 and under. This request comes from our experience working in northern BC as psychiatrists on call for all ages of patients.

Recently, one of us was on call and had three calls in a week for violent 11-year-old patients. Two of them had multiple involvements with police in the weeks preceding the interactions with them and had been to the hospital on previous occasions. The third had stabbed another child at school. All three of these children needed acute psychiatric treatment. BC Children’s Hospital, with its extended waiting list, is not suitable for these emergency situations. Neither is the pediatric ward of our hospital or the general wards of smaller hospitals, where two of the children ended up.

We suspect that physicians in emergencies and in their offices throughout BC are probably facing similar difficulties to those we face in the north. We would like to collect some data on this so that we can go to the administrators and politicians with information to back up our beliefs and hopefully develop more services.

If doctors have similar psychiatric emergency situations with patients age 11 and under, and they are not able to get satisfactory resources for their patients, we would ask them to e-mail my secretary at with general information about the cases (i.e., age and presenting complaint, resolution, or lack of). Over the course of the next year, if it turns out that there appears to be a need for more acute psychiatric services for the 11 and under group, we will take steps to officially advocate in this regard.

If anyone has any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at or Rachel Boulding at

Thanks very much for any assistance you may be able to provide.

—Barbara Kane, MD
—Rachel Boulding, MD
Prince George

Barbara J. Kane, MD,, Rachel Boulding, MD,. Acute pediatric psychiatry. BCMJ, Vol. 49, No. 5, June, 2007, Page(s) 231 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply