1st residential course - report

"Assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents"

The 1st ESCAP Residential Course on “Assessment and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders in children and adolescents” was held in Catania, Italy, from the 2nd to the 5th of October 2019.

A total of 28 participants, including child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists and epidemiologists from 13 countries (Italy, France, Russia, Portugal, Sweden, Suisse, Latvia, Macedonia, Belgium, Spain, China, Germany, Turkey) attended the course.

The congress was organized in collaboration with “Progetto Aita” Onlus, a non-profit association which supports children with neurodevelopmental disabilities which promotes inclusive social and sports activities, and scientific events.

Objectives of the Residential Course were to create international networking among young researchers, intensive training on child and adolescents’ mental health, comparison between different clinical and cultural realities, and strengthening of interpersonal interactions.

Several stimulating topics were highlighted during the scheduled frontal lectures and interactive sessions.

In the opening afternoon, Professor Benedetto Vitiello (University of Turin, Italy) overviewed the actual literature on “Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents”.

Professor Luigi Mazzone (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy) reviewed the state of the art of autism research, touching on topics such as symptoms’ early detection, risk and protective environmental factors associated with ASD, and novel promising pharmacological core symptoms treatment.

The topic of “evidence base for the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” was deeply addressed by Professor Samuele Cortese (University of Southampton/Solent NHS Trust, UK; University of Nottingham, UK, New York University, USA).

Furthermore, Kerstin von Plessen (University Hospital of Lausanne) delved into the treatment approaches of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tic Disorders.

Finally, an interesting session on Clinical High Risk for Psychosis (CHR-P) to First Episode Of Psychosis (FEP) was conducted by Professor Marco Armando (University of Génève, Switzerland) and Dr Paul Klauser (Monash University).

During the afternoon sessions, attendees reported on case reports previously selected by the faculties. These interactive sessions turned out to be stimulating opportunities for exchanges between participants belonging to different cultural and medical realities.

98% of the delegates rated the course as excellent, referring to it as it enhanced their knowledge on the topic of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. As a possible improvement of the course, participants suggested to boost the interactive sessions and add lectures on eating disorders and management of suicide risk, which will be added to the second edition.

The second edition of the Residential Course on “Assessment and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders in children and adolescents” is planned for the 30th September to the 3rd October in Catania at Grand Hotel Baia Verde, Catania (Italy).