Pediatric Consult Liaison Services

The UNC Pediatric Psychology / Psychiatry Consultation and Liaison Programs (PC&L) provide evaluation and management services to infants, children, and adolescents receiving primary care from UNC-CH School of Medicine clinical departments, N. C. Children’s Hospital programs, and community physicians. PC&L faculty includes active members of the UNC Hospitals Ethics Committee and the Beacon Child and Family Program (Child Abuse Team), both of which also provide consultation within the medical center.

Faculty, fellows, and interns work closely together to provide both inpatient and outpatient PC&L services. Current outpatient services include consultation to Pediatric Neurology; Hematology/Oncology (Hemophilia, Sickle Cell Disease, Childhood Cancer, Oncology Late Effects, and Brain Tumor Clinics); Gastroenterology; and Endocrine Clinics, as well as a growing involvement with other pediatric subspecialty (e.g., Pulmonary, Cardiology) and continuity care clinics.

Inpatient consultations to the pediatric and surgery floors of the N. C. Children’s Hospital and the N. C. Jaycee Burn Center often focus on managing child and family adaptation to chronic illness and acute injury (e.g., adjustment to diagnosis and treatment, anxiety over procedures, adherence to medical regimens (plans), pediatric pain management, sibling responses, school reentry, optimizing quality-of-life, dealing with death and dying, etc.). We often are called upon when the differential (alternative) diagnosis includes conversion or somatization disorder, failure-to-thrive, etc. PC&L services also may include screening psychological and/or neuropsychological testing; behavioral interventions; child and family psychotherapy; assessment of suicidality; requests for evaluation and management of psychotropic medications; pre-organ transplant (e.g., liver, kidney, heart, lung, bone marrow) evaluations; and collaborative support for pediatric faculty and staff regarding clinical care team functioning and management issues raised by illness course (e.g., timing and process of transition of adolescents from pediatric- to adult-oriented programs).

PC&L faculty are involved in the formal psychological assessment of referred children and adolescents hospitalized on UNC inpatient psychiatry units. As a group, we also provide a limited number of psychological and psychoeducational evaluations, as well as outpatient psychotherapy for children, adolescents, parents, and families. Pediatric Psychology / Psychiatry Consultation and Liaison Programs clinical involvement often evolves into research collaboration with other medical school faculty. Recent funded investigations by PC&L faculty have included clinical research projects focused on children’s conceptions (idea) of illness; neuropsychological consequences of pediatric illness (e.g., sickle cell disease, neurofibromatosis, acute lymphocytic leukemia, HIV, hemophilia); infant failure-to-thrive, emotional developmental outcomes of pediatric well-child care; and genetic / environmental factors in early childhood caries.

The UNC-CH Department of Psychiatry Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Service provides comprehensive inpatient and clinic consultations.

Parents seeking an outpatient consultation should contact their child's primary care physician for referral. Inpatient requests for consultation may be made by patients and their families through their primary inpatient physician. Referrals for follow-up care are arranged as appropriate.