Sheba has pioneered an initiative that not only addresses the long-standing gaps in psychiatric care worldwide, but showcases a profound commitment to integrating family into the treatment environment.

In a landmark move, Sheba has unveiled a novel program aimed at revolutionizing pediatric psychiatric care worldwide. Launched on October 5th, the initiative addresses a gap in child psychiatry wards, where parental involvement during treatment isn’t a norm. Numerous studies have highlighted the detrimental effects of this traditional practice, which induces stress and distrust among parents and medical personnel, in addition to hampering children’s acclimatization to the treatment environment, potentially worsening behavioral challenges.

Embracing Family-Centric Care: The Essence of Sheba’s Pediatric Psychiatry Approach

At the heart of this transformative initiative is the newly inaugurated Child Psychiatry Center, catering to children aged 6 to 12 under the leadership of Director Prof. Doron Gothelf. The center’s innovative approach encourages parents to share the same room with their child during the initial week of treatment, with the shared experience designed to alleviate common integration struggles, leading to an easier transition for both the child and the parents. Following the initial week, parents continue to see their children on a regular basis while the treatment program continues.

A study in the European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Journal highlights the encouraging outcomes of this approach, showcasing how the shared week significantly reduced stress and trauma levels for parents, easing the inevitable separation from their children. Moreover, the parents reported increased trust in the medical team and a deeper understanding of the treatment regimen.

Pediatric psychiatry at Sheba Medical Center

Global Impact

“Hospitalization, especially for psychiatric treatment, can be an emotionally taxing ordeal for parents. Our goal is to normalize child psychiatry, extending to parents the same access and control typical of other pediatric domains,” said Prof. Doron Gothelf.

The positive feedback from parents and the study’s promising results have not only validated Sheba’s innovative model, but also captured the attention of the global child psychology community. The model now stands as a beacon, guiding other healthcare systems worldwide to rethink and reshape pediatric psychiatric care.

As this novel model begins to pique interest and consideration among other medical institutions worldwide, Sheba continues to lead by example, illustrating that compassionate, inclusive approaches in pediatric psychiatric care are crucial for enhancing treatment efficacy and fostering trust amongst patients and their families.

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