nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay

nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay

Compare at least two evidence-based treatment plans for adults diagnosed with schizophrenia with evidence-based treatment plans for children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Explain the legal and ethical issues involved with forcing children diagnosed with schizophrenia to take medication for the disorder and how a PMHNP may address those issues.


Early onset of schizophrenia is seen during the adolescent age and particularly before the age of 18 years.  The general symptoms of the condition appear during the mid- to late 20s even though rare cases are reported in children of below 13 years (Ball et l., 2018). Childhood schizophrenia presents a severe mental disorder in children between 7 and 13 years. The disorder occurs in there stages namely the prodromal, the acute and the recovery phases. It is also often comorbid with other mental conditions which challenges its management. The clinical manifestations of schizophrenia include behavioral, emotional and thinking problems even though the variations could include hallucinations, delusions impaired functioning abilities and disorganized speech nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay.

Comparison of evidence-based treatment plans

Multiple interventions are applied in the treatment of schizophrenia. For instance, psychotherapy is effective in the management of most mental disorders. As such, individual therapy can be used to treat the adults, children an adolescents as well. It uses cognitive behavioral therapy to change the thought processes, emotions and behaviors of these individuals as guided by skilled mental health professionals (Green, Horan & Lee, 2015). In children, it helps in socialization and management of school work while in adults and children it seeks to change behaviors and improve their quality of lives. On the other hand, pharmacological approach is also effective and uses the antipsychotic drugs to achieve the alleviation of symptoms. However, the FDA does not approve the use of second-generation and some first generation antipsychotics to children and teenagers often those of below 12 years due to their intolerance and adverse side effects nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay.

Legal and ethical issues

The State of Indiana and the US laws in general have provisions for situations involving the legal rights to refusal of treatment (Perlin, Cucolo & Lynch, 2017). However, this does not always cover mental health patients because; they are considered unfit to make sound decisions regarding their treatment. In the event of a child being forced to take medication after a diagnosis with schizophrenia, the parents are given the legal right to decide on their behalf since children are considered to be unable to decide regarding their health nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay. The law also demands the scrutiny of medication to determine its appropriateness and approval by the Food and Drug Association. This is because; many medications for schizophrenia treatment are not approved for the use in children.

This caser also presents an ethical dilemma associated with the autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence principles (Butts & Rich, 2019). For instance, the patient has the right to deny medication and or demand for alternatives. According to autonomy, the practitioner should respect the patient’s decision and provide treatment as per the client’s decision. However, the patient declines treatment which endangers his mental health and thus beneficence expects the nurse to take actions that benefit the child. The non-maleficence principle is also challenged by the decision of the patient which might cause him harm rather than good.

The PMHNP can address this case through the application of the Indiana legal guideline which gives the patients the right to make decisions on behalf of their children. Moreover, these provisions do not consider mental patients fit for decision-making and thus, the parents will have to decide regarding their child’s treatment (Perlin, Cucolo & Lynch, 2017). Consequently, the practitioner can seek alternative treatment options to patients that could be accommodative to them to prevent resistance nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay. The application of ethical principles will also guide them in decision making and course of action together with evidence-based research from previous similar cases.


Ball, A., Rittner, B., Chen, Y. L., & Maguin, E. (2018). Impact of individualized education plans on academic success of youth with early onset schizophrenia. Journal of evidence-informed social work15(5), 534-549.

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2019). Nursing ethics. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Green, M. F., Horan, W. P., & Lee, J. (2015). Social cognition in schizophrenia. Nature Reviews Neuroscience16(10), 620.

Perlin, M. L., Cucolo, H. E., & Lynch, A. (2017). Mental disability law: Cases and materials. Carolina Academic Press nurs 6670 Early Onset Schizophrenia Essay.

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