Training Pediatric Psychologists for Perinatal Behavioral Health Services in a Pediatric Hospital

  • Rhonda C. Boyd
  • Alexander M. Scharko
  • Joanna C. M. Cole
  • Chavis A. Patterson
  • Tami D. Benton
  • Thomas J. Power


Although pediatric hospitals specialize in providing care to children and adolescents, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), our team has been providing behavioral health services for two unique parent populations—parents with a child in the Newborn Infant Intensive Care Unit and pregnant women carrying fetuses with specific birth defects and receiving prenatal care in the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. A new training program was developed to expand the scope of pediatric psychologists’ practice to include perinatal behavioral health services, specifically for these two unique parent populations served at CHOP. The program includes direct service provision for adult mental health concerns, as well as education and support to help families cope with the existing medical conditions. This article describes the training program and its implementation as a model of training for other pediatric hospitals. The roles of psychologists embedded in these units and hospital privileges are discussed.


Pediatric hospital Training Competencies 



We would like to thank Dr. Lydia Sit for her supervision, Dr. Deborah Kim and Dr. Sarah Mathews for observation opportunities in this training process and Shadiya Moss for assistance in manuscript preparation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Rhonda Boyd, Alexander Scharko, Joanna Cole, Chavis Patterson, Tami Benton and Thomas Power declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rhonda C. Boyd
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander M. Scharko
    • 1
  • Joanna C. M. Cole
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chavis A. Patterson
    • 2
    • 4
  • Tami D. Benton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thomas J. Power
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Center for Fetal Diagnosis and TreatmentThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Division of NeonatologyThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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