NURS 6660 Image Result for Pica in Adolescent

NURS 6660 Image Result for Pica in Adolescent

NURS 6660 Image Result for Pica in Adolescent

Pica is the developmentally inappropriate consumption of non-nutritive items for at least one month. Pica can lead to many adverse outcomes, but the exact pathophysiology of pica is unknown or variable across populations. Several studies have evidenced that there is a high prevalence of pica among youth with sickle cell disease (SCD). However, the lack of knowledge regarding the correlates of pica contributes to overlooking the condition, inaccurate diagnoses, and a lack of evidence-based treatments once pica is identified. This review examines the literature to develop a biopsychosocial model of pica in SCD. Elucidating the potential relationships among the proposed biological, psychological, and social factors, and pica will inform our understanding of this phenomenon in pediatric SCD and may guide future research and clinical recommendations. Abstract:

Walden University
NURS 6660
May 1, 2019

Image result for pica in adolescent


Pica is a rare kind of medical disorder in

which a person is habitual to eat nonfood items. This disorder is usually misunderstood and neglected. Usually children are victim of this disorder. They unintentionally eat harmful substance which may cause much serious kind of problems. Pica may be because of many factors. These may be internal or external. It may be because of emotional imbalance, hormonal problems or may be because of social customs and religious believes.

Image result for signs and symptoms of pica

Image result for signs and symptoms of pica

Signs and Symptoms

· Eating nonedible substances

· Substances may include hair, string, clay, chalk, pebbles, gum, paint, or ice.

· Eating substance needs to be developmentally inappropriate. An example of developmentally appropriate for appropriate ingestion would be a young child swallowing gum or a younger child putting objects in their mouth.

· Substance that is ingested is not part of a cultural practice

How is pica diagnosed?
The will look at your child’s physical symptoms. These could include stomach upset or bowel problems.

· If your child is in a high-risk group for pica (they have intellectual or developmental disabilities), your doctor may ask if you have seen your child eating nonfood items and for how long.

· If the behavior has occurred for a month or more, your doctor may diagnose it as pica.

· Your doctor may order tests, such as blood tests or X-rays. These can check for possible anemia, look for toxins in the blood, and find blockages in the intestines.

· Your doctor may order a blood test to check your child’s iron and zinc levels. Not having enough of these vitamins is considered a trigger for eating dirt and clay in some cases.

Options for Pica

· Treatment of pica will often depend on the cause and type of pica…Example: supplementation with iron-containing vitamins has been shown to cause the unusual cravings to subside in some iron-deficient patients

· Behavior therapy, Treatment options include: – discrimination training between edible and nonedible items, – self- protection devices that prohibit placement of objects in the mouth- sensory reinforcement involving screening (covering eyes briefly(, contingent aversive oral taste (lemon), contingent aversive smell sensation (ammonia), contingent aversive physical sensation (water mist), -brief physical restraint, and overcorrection (correct the environment, or practice appropriate or alternative responses)

Image result for treatment options for pica


American psychiatric association. (2013). Retrieved December 9,2018, from

Hennawy, M. A. (2016, September). Pica. Retrieved from

Sadock, B. J., Saddock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Synopsis of psychiatry behavioral science/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Staff, F. E. (2018, October). What Is Pica? – Pica Eating Disorder. Retrieved from



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