Previous studies have suggested that both underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis routinely occur in ADHD and hyperkinesis (hyperkinetic disorders). England has introduced governmental guidelines for these disorders' detection and treatment, but there has been no study on clinical diagnostic accuracy under such a regime.
All open cases in three Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the South East of England were assessed for accuracy in the detection of hyperkinetic disorders, using a two-stage process employing the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for screening, with the cut-off between "unlikely" and "possible" as the threshold for identification, and the Development And Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) as a valid and reliable standard.
502 cases were collected. Their mean age 11 years (std dev 3 y); 59% were clinically diagnosed as having a hyperkinetic disorder including ADHD. Clinicians had missed two diagnoses of hyperkinesis and six of ADHD. The only 'false positive' case was one that had become asymptomatic on appropriate treatment.
The identification of children with hyperkinetic disorders by three ordinary English CAMHS teams appears now to be generally consistent with that of a validated, standardised assessment. It seems likely that this reflects the impact of Governmental guidelines, which could therefore be an appropriate tool to ensure consistent accurate diagnosis internationally.
Strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) is a widely used instrument for screening mental problems in children and adolescents. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and psychometric properties of this questionnaire in comparison with the children behavior checklist (CBCL) and psychiatric interview.
The study was done in two stages. At stage one, 600 children aged between 6 and 12 were evaluated using the parent and teacher versions of SDQ and CBCL. At stage two, 25 children with the scores above the cut point reported by the developer of SDQ and 27 children with the score below this point were selected to be interviewed by a child and adolescent psychiatrist according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) classification and by another clinician using the K-SADS-PL (Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children- Present and Lifetime Version) as a semi structured interview.
The mean scores of SDQ subscales found in this study were comparable to what found in other studies in other countries. The cut-off points of SDQ were almost similar to that of other researches. The internal consistency and concurrent validity of this questionnaire was good.
The current study showed that both parent and teacher versions of SDQ in Persian language can be used as a valid tool in screening the mental problems in children and adolescents.
SDQ; CBCL; mental problems; children; K-SADS
To examine whether the widely used Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) can validly be used to compare the prevalence of child mental health problems cross nationally.
We used data on 29,225 5- to 16-year olds in eight population-based studies from seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Britain, India, Norway, Russia and Yemen. Parents completed the SDQ in all eight studies, teachers in seven studies and youth in five studies. We used these SDQ data to calculate three different sorts of “caseness indicators” based on (1) SDQ symptoms, (2) SDQ symptoms plus impact and (3) an overall respondent judgement of ‘definite’ or ‘severe’ difficulties. Respondents also completed structured diagnostic interviews including extensive open-ended questions (the Development and Well-Being Assessment, DAWBA). Diagnostic ratings were all carried out or supervised by the DAWBA’s creator, working in conjunction with experienced local professionals.
As judged by the DAWBA, the prevalence of any mental disorder ranged from 2.2% in India to 17.1% in Russia. The nine SDQ caseness indicators (three indicators times three informants) explained 8–56% of the cross-national variation in disorder prevalence. This was insufficient to make meaningful prevalence estimates since populations with a similar measured prevalence of disorder on the DAWBA showed large variations across the various SDQ caseness indicators.
The relationship between SDQ caseness indicators and disorder rates varies substantially between populations: cross-national differences in SDQ indicators do not necessarily reflect comparable differences in disorder rates. More generally, considerable caution is required when interpreting cross-cultural comparisons of mental health, particularly when these rely on brief questionnaires.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00127-011-0440-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cross cultural; Questionnaire; Prevalence; Reporting bias
This study presents the psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire – Hebrew version (SDQ-H), used in the Israel Survey on Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA). The SDQ-H was administered to a representative sample of 611 adolescents and their mothers. Structural validity was evaluated by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) inventory was used as “gold standard” to test convergent and discriminant validity. Internal consistency and normative scores were established. Agreement was found with the original factor structure, except for the Peer problem scale. Concurrent and discriminant validity varied from fair to very good for most scales. Total Difficulties scores showed better discriminant validity for the adolescents’ than the mothers’ report for internalizing disorders, and the opposite for externalizing disorders. Internal consistency for the Total Difficulties was 0.77 and for the Hyperactivity scale it was 0.73. It was lower for the other scales, particularly for the Peer problems scale. The findings suggest reasonable psychometric properties of the SDQ-H. Comparisons with other translated SDQ versions are presented.
SDQ-Hebrew version; validity; reliability; normative scores
Validated questionnaires can support the identification of psychosocial problems by the Preventive Child Health Care (PCH) system. This study assesses the validity and added value of four scoring methods used with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for the identification of psychosocial problems among children aged 7–12 by the PCH.
We included 711 (of 814) children (response: 87%) aged 7–12 undergoing routine health assessments in nine PCH services across the Netherlands. Child health professionals interviewed and examined children and parents. Prior to the interview, parents completed the SDQ and the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), which were not shown to the professionals. The CBCL and data about the child's current treatment status were used as criteria for the validity of the SDQ. We used four SDQ scoring approaches: an elevated SDQ Total Difficulties Score (TDS), parent-defined difficulties, an elevated score for emotional symptoms, conduct problems or hyperactivity in combination with a high impairment score, and a combined score: an elevated score for any of these three methods.
The Cohen's Kappa ranged from 0.33 to 0.64 for the four scoring methods with the CBCL scores and treatment status, generally indicating a moderate to good agreement. All four methods added significantly to the identification of problems by the PCH. Classification based on the TDS yielded results similar to more complicated methods.
The SDQ is a valid tool for the identification of psychosocial problems by PCH. As a first step, the use of a simple classification based on the SDQ TDS is recommended.
Previous studies document a mental health advantage in British Indian children, particularly for externalising problems. The causes of this advantage are unknown.
Subjects were 13 836 White children and 361 Indian children aged 5-16 years from the English subsample of the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys. The primary mental health outcome was the parent Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Mental health was also assessed using the teacher and child SDQs; diagnostic interviews with parents, teachers and children; and multi-informant clinician-rated diagnoses. Multiple child, family, school and area factors were examined as possible mediators or confounders in explaining observed ethnic differences.
Indian children had a large advantage for externalising problems and disorders, and little or no difference for internalising problems and disorders. This was observed across all mental health outcomes, including teacher-reported and diagnostic interview measures. Detailed psychometric analyses provided no suggestion of information bias. The Indian advantage for externalising problems was partly mediated by Indian children being more likely to live in two-parent families and less likely to have academic difficulties. Yet after adjusting for these and all other covariates, the unexplained Indian advantage only reduced by about a quarter (from 1.08 to 0.71 parent SDQ points) and remained highly significant (p<0.001). This Indian advantage was largely confined to families of low socio-economic position.
The Indian mental health advantage is real and is specific to externalising problems. Family type and academic abilities mediate part of the advantage, but most is not explained by major risk factors. Likewise unexplained is the absence in Indian children of a socio-economic gradient in mental health. Further investigation of the Indian advantage may yield insights into novel ways to promote child mental health and child mental health equity in all ethnic groups.
Cross-cultural comparison; British Indians; advantaged groups; information bias; minority ethnic mental health; externalising problems
Aims: To describe the characteristics of homeless children and families seen by the mental health outreach service (MHOS), to evaluate the impact of this service on the short term psychosocial functioning of children and parents, and to establish perceptions of, and satisfaction with, the service.
Methods: Twenty seven children from 23 families who were in receipt of the MHOS and 27 children from 23 families residing in other hostels where no such service was available were studied. The MHOS was delivered by a clinical nurse specialist with expertise in child mental health, who offered the following interventions: assessment and brief treatment of mental health disorders in children; liaison with agencies; and training of homeless centre staff.
Results: Children in the experimental group had a significantly higher decrease in Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) total scores. Having received the intervention was the strongest predictor of improvement in SDQ total scores. There was no significant impact on parental mental health (General Health Questionnaire) scores. Homeless families and staff expressed high satisfaction with the MHOS.
Conclusion: This MHOS for homeless families is an innovative intervention which meets the complex and multiple needs of a vulnerable population unable to access mainstream mental health services. The primary objective of the service was to improve child mental health problems; however, the service developed in a responsive way by meeting social and practical needs of families in addition to its clinical role.
Objectives. To examine whether age of First diagnosis, gender, psychiatric comorbidity, and treatment modalities (pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy) at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) moderate the risk of Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) utilization in patients diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder at CAMHS. Methods. Data were derived from the Madrid Psychiatric Cumulative Register Study. The target population comprised 32,183 patients who had 3 or more visits at CAMHS. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to assess survival data. A series of logistic regression analyses were performed to study the role of age of diagnosis, gender, psychiatric comorbidity, and treatment modalities. Results. 7.1% of patients presented with hyperkinetic disorder at CAMHS. Compared to preschool children, children and adolescents first diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder at CAMHS were more likely to use AMHS. Female gender and comorbidity with affective disorders, schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders increased the risk of use of AMHS. Pharmacological or combined treatment of hyperkinetic disorder diagnosed at CAMHS was associated with increased risk of use at AMHS. Conclusions. Older age of first diagnosis, female gender, psychiatric comorbidity, and pharmacological treatment at CAMHS are markers of risk for the transition from CAMHS to AMHS in patients with hyperkinetic disorder diagnosed at CAMHS.
This is a pilot study with the objective of investigating general practitioner (GP) perceptions and experiences in the referral of mentally ill and behaviourally disturbed children and adolescents.
Quantitative analyses on patient databases were used to ascertain the source of referrals into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and identify the relative contribution from GP practices. Qualitative semistructured interviews were then used to explore challenges faced by GPs in referring to CAMHS.
GPs were chosen from the five localities that deliver CAMHS within the local Trust (Peterborough City, Fenland, Huntingdon, Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire).
For the quantitative portion, data involving 19 466 separate referrals were used. Seven GPs took part in the qualitative interviews.
The likelihood of a referral from GPs being rejected by CAMHS was over three times higher compared to all other referral sources combined within the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. Interviews showed that detecting the signs and symptoms of mental illness in young people is a challenge for GPs. Communication with referral agencies varies and depends on individual relationships. GPs determine whether to refer on a mixture of the presenting conditions and their perceived likelihood of acceptance by CAMHS; the criteria for the latter were poorly understood by the interviewed GPs.
There are longstanding structural weaknesses in the services for children and young people in general, reflected in poor multiagency cooperation at the primary care level. GP-friendly guidelines and standards are required that will aid in decision-making and help with understanding the referrals process. We look to managers of both commissioning and providing organisations, as well as future research, to drive forward the development of tools, protocols, and health service structures to help aid the recognition and treatment of mental illness in young people.
Mental Health; Primary Care; Referrals
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a relatively short instrument developed to detect psychosocial problems in children aged 3–16 years. It addresses four dimensions: emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention problems, peer problems that count up to the total difficulties score, and a fifth dimension; prosocial behaviour. The validity and reliability of the SDQ has not been fully investigated in younger age groups. Therefore, this study assesses the validity and reliability of the parent and teacher versions of the SDQ in children aged 5–6 years in the total sample, and in subgroups according to child gender and parental education level.
The SDQ was administered as part of the Dutch regularly provided preventive health check for children aged 5–6 years. Parents provided information on 4750 children and teachers on 4516 children.
Factor analyses of the parent and teacher SDQ confirmed that the original five scales were present (parent RMSEA = 0.05; teacher RMSEA = 0.07). Interrater correlations between parents and teachers were small (ICCs of 0.21–0.44) but comparable to what is generally found for psychosocial problem assessments in children. These correlations were larger for males than for females. Cronbach’s alphas for the total difficulties score were 0.77 for the parent SDQ and 0.81 for the teacher SDQ. Four of the subscales on the parent SDQ and two of the subscales on the teacher SDQ had an alpha <0.70. Alphas were generally higher for male children and for low parental education level.
The validity and reliability of the total difficulties score of the parent and teacher SDQ are satisfactory in all groups by informant, child gender, and parental education level. Our results support the use of the SDQ in younger age groups. However, some subscales are less reliable and we recommend only to use the total difficulties score for screening purposes.
Development and evaluation of the PEQ-CAMHS Outpatients, a parent completed questionnaire to measure experiences of outpatient child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Norway.
Literature review, parent interviews, pre-testing and a national survey of 17,080 parents of children who received care at one of the 86 outpatient CAMHS in Norway in 2006. Telephone interviews were conducted with a random sample of non-respondents. Levels of missing data, factor structure, internal consistency and construct validity were assessed.
7,906 (46.0%) parents or primary caregivers responded to the questionnaire. Low levels of missing data suggest that the PEQ-CAMHS is acceptable. The questionnaire includes three scales supported by the results of factor analysis: relationship with health personnel (8 items), information and participation (4 items), and outcome (3 items). Item-total correlations were all above 0.6 and Cronbach's alpha correlations ranged from 0.88-0.94. The results of comparisons of scale scores with several variables relating to global satisfaction, outcome, cooperation, information, involvement and waiting time support the construct validity of the instrument.
The PEQ-CAMHS Outpatients questionnaire includes important aspects of outpatient CAMHS from the perspective of the parent. It has evidence for data quality, internal consistency and validity and is recommended in surveys of parent experiences of these services. Future research should assess test-retest reliability and further tests of construct validity that include clinical data are recommended.
Although it is known that children with mental health problems utilize primary care services more than most other children, it is unknown how addressing mental health problems in primary care affects children’s subsequent services utilization. This study measures primary care utilization in the context of a randomized trial of a communication skills training program for primary care clinicians that had a positive impact on child mental health outcomes.
From 2002 to 2005, 48 pediatric primary care clinicians at 13 sites in rural upstate New York, urban Maryland, and Washington, DC were randomized to in-office training or to a control group. Consecutive primary care patients between the ages of 5 and 16 years were screened for mental health problems, as indicated by a possible or probable score on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). For 397 screened children, primary care visits during the next 6 months were identified using chart review and administrative databases. Using generalized estimating equation regression to account for clustering at the clinician level, primary care utilization was compared by study group and SDQ status.
The number of primary care visits to the trained clinicians did not differ significantly from those made to control clinicians (2.5 for both groups, p=0.63). Children with possible or probable SDQ scores made, on average, 0.38 or 0.65 more visits on a per-child basis, respectively, during the six-month follow-up period than SDQ unlikely children (p-value=0.0002).
Seeing a trained clinician did not increase subsequent primary care utilization. However, primary care utilization was greater among children with mental health problems as measured by the SDQ. Addressing children’s mental health in primary care does not increase the primary care visit burden. Research on overall health services utilization is needed.
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; primary care utilization; child mental health
The objective of this study was to determine the extent of changes in mental health status of children in a respite service as little has been reported on this aspect of respite care.
All families enrolled in a new centre-based respite program in a moderately large urban center in Canada were invited to participate. The child’s primary caregiver completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) at baseline, mid-point and endpoint, as did respite staff. A comparison group of primary caregivers seeking respite care also completed the same ratings at baseline and at one-follow-up point.
The children’s primary caregivers perceived high levels of mental health difficulties in their children at baseline; significantly more than respite providers. No significant changes were found between SDQ baseline and endpoint values for either primary caregivers or respite workers. The amount of change between baseline and midpoint was no different for the intervention and comparison group.
No evidence of a positive impact on child mental health status by the new respite program as measured by the SDQ was detected. Specific evidence-based child mental health interventions may need to be paired with respite care to improve child mental health outcomes.
respite care; child; mental health; evaluation; service de relève; santé mentale; enfants; évaluation
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) has become one of the most widely used measurement tools in child and adolescent mental health work across the globe. The SDQ was originally developed and validated within the UK and whilst its reliability and validity have been replicated in several countries important cross cultural issues have been raised. We describe normative data, reliability and validity of the Chinese translation of the SDQ (parent, teacher and self report versions) in a large group of children from Shanghai.
The SDQ was administered to the parents and teachers of students from 12 of Shanghai's 19 districts, aged between 3 and 17 years old, and to those young people aged between 11 and 17 years. Retest data was collected from parents and teachers for 45 students six weeks later. Data was analysed to describe normative scores, bandings and cut-offs for normal, borderline and abnormal scores. Reliability was assessed from analyses of internal consistency, inter-rater agreement, and temporal stability. Structural validity, convergent and discriminant validity were assessed.
Full parent and teacher data was available for 1965 subjects and self report data for 690 subjects. Normative data for this Chinese urban population with bandings and cut-offs for borderline and abnormal scores are described. Principle components analysis indicates partial agreement with the original five factored subscale structure however this appears to hold more strongly for the Prosocial Behaviour, Hyperactivity – Inattention and Emotional Symptoms subscales than for Conduct Problems and Peer Problems. Internal consistency as measured by Cronbach's α coefficient were generally low ranging between 0.30 and 0.83 with only parent and teacher Hyperactivity – Inattention and teacher Prosocial Behaviour subscales having α > 0.7. Inter-rater correlations were similar to those reported previously (range 0.23 – 0.49) whilst test retest reliability was generally lower than would be expected (range 0.40 – 0.79). Convergent and discriminant validity are supported.
We report mixed findings with respect the psychometric properties of the Chinese translation of the SDQ. Reliability is a particular concern particularly for Peer Problems and self ratings by adolescents. There is good support for convergent validity but only partial support for structural validity. It may be possible to resolve some of these issues by carefully examining the wording and meaning of some of the current questions.
To date, no studies have assessed in detail the characteristics, organisation, and functioning of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). This information gap represents a major limitation for researchers and clinicians because most mental disorders have their onset in childhood or adolescence, and effective interventions can therefore represent a major factor in avoiding chronicity. Interventions and mental health care are delivered by and through services, and not by individual, private clinicians, and drawbacks or limitations of services generally translate in inappropriateness and ineffectiveness of treatments and interventions: therefore information about services is essential to improve the quality of care and ultimately the course and outcome of mental disorders in childhood and adolescence.
The present paper reports the results of the first study aimed at providing detailed, updated and comprehensive data on CAMHS of a densely populated Italian region (over 4 million inhabitants) with a target population of 633,725 subjects aged 0-17 years.
Unit Chiefs of all the CAMHS filled in a structured 'Facility Form', with activity data referring to 2008 (data for inpatient facilities referred to 2009), which were then analysed in detail.
Eleven CAMHS were operative, including 110 outpatient units, with a ratio of approximately 20 child psychiatrists and 23 psychologists per 100,000 inhabitants aged 0-17 years. All outpatient units were well equipped and organized and all granted free service access. In 2008, approximately 6% of the target population was in contact with outpatient CAMHS, showing substantial homogeneity across the eleven areas thereby. Most patients in contact in 2008 received a language disorder- or learning disability diagnosis (41%). First-ever contacts accounted for 30% of annual visits across all units. Hospital bed availability was 5 per 100,000 inhabitants aged 0-17 years.
The percentage of young people in contact with CAMHS for mental disorders is in line with those observed in previous epidemiological studies. The overall number of child psychiatrists per 100,000 inhabitants is one of the highest in Europe and it is comparable with the most well equipped areas in the US. This comparison should be interpreted with caution, however, because in Italy, child psychiatrists also treat neurological disorders. Critical areas requiring improvement are: the uneven utilisation of standardised assessment procedures and the limited availability of dedicated emergency services during non-office hours (e.g., nights and holidays).
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS); Process of care; Adolescence; Child Psychiatry
Prevention and treatment of youths` mental disorders are important, not just for to diminish their present problems but to improve their functions in adulthood. This study was performed to evaluate the mental health status of 6-18 years old youths in a community-based sample using the strength and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ).
Parent of 2000 youths (6-18 years old) were selected from 250 clusters from different municipality areas of Isfahan, Iran and they responded to extended version of SDQ parent`s form. The mean score in each subscale and prevalence of symptom and relation with some demographic features were determined.
The total score of SDQ was 26%, means that 26% of youth had psychiatric problems. By determining the subscale score, it reveals that conduct disorder (34.7%) was the most common problem in youth followed by peer relationship problems (25.4%), emotional problems (24.5%), hyperactivity (23%) and impairment of prosocial behavior (5.7%).
Our findings showed that mental health of youth population in Isfahan especially the conduct problem needs more attention.
Youth; Strength and difficulties Questionnaire; SDQ; Mental health; Relational problem; Conduct problem
Children with a low socioeconomic position are more affected by mental difficulties as compared to children with a higher socioeconomic position. This paper explores whether this socioeconomic pattern persists in the prosperous German city of Munich which features high quality of life and coverage of children mental health specialists that lies well above the national average and is among the highest in Europe.
1,265 parents of preschool children participated in a cross-sectional health survey. They were given a self-administered questionnaire (including socioeconomic variables) and the 'Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)', a well-established method to identify mental difficulties among children and adolescents. Prevalence estimates for the 'SDQ-Total Difficulties Score' were calculated, with a special focus on differences by parental (resp. household) socioeconomic position. The association between parental education, household income, single parenthood, nationality, and parental working status on one hand, and their children's mental health on the other, was explored using multivariable logistic regression models. The coverage of mental health specialists per 100,000 children aged 14 or younger in the city of Munich was also calculated.
In Munich, the distribution of mental health difficulties among children follows the same socioeconomic pattern as described previously at the national level, but the overall prevalence is about 30% lower. Comparing different indicators of socioeconomic position, low parental education and household income are the strongest independent variables associated with mental difficulties among children (OR = 2.7; CI = 1.6 - 4.4 and OR = 2.8; CI = 1.4 - 5.6, respectively).
Socioeconomic differences in the prevalence of childhood mental difficulties are very stable. Even in a city such as Munich, which is characterized by high quality of life, high availability of mental health specialists, and low overall prevalence of these mental difficulties, they are about as pronounced as in Germany as a whole. It can be concluded that the effect of several characteristics of socioeconomic position 'overrules' the effect of a health promoting regional environment.
Although young people's transition from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) in England is a significant health issue for service users, commissioners and providers, there is little evidence available to guide service development. The TRACK study aims to identify factors which facilitate or impede effective transition from CAHMS to AMHS. This paper presents findings from a survey of transition protocols in Greater London.
A questionnaire survey (Jan-April 2005) of Greater London CAMHS to identify transition protocols and collect data on team size, structure, transition protocols, population served and referral rates to AMHS. Identified transition protocols were subjected to content analysis.
Forty two of the 65 teams contacted (65%) responded to the survey. Teams varied in type (generic/targeted/in-patient), catchment area (locality-based, wider or national) and transition boundaries with AMHS. Estimated annual average number of cases considered suitable for transfer to AMHS, per CAMHS team (mean 12.3, range 0–70, SD 14.5, n = 37) was greater than the annual average number of cases actually accepted by AMHS (mean 8.3, range 0–50, SD 9.5, n = 33).
In April 2005, there were 13 active and 2 draft protocols in Greater London. Protocols were largely similar in stated aims and policies, but differed in key procedural details, such as joint working between CAHMS and AMHS and whether protocols were shared at Trust or locality level. While the centrality of service users' involvement in the transition process was identified, no protocol specified how users should be prepared for transition. A major omission from protocols was procedures to ensure continuity of care for patients not accepted by AMHS.
At least 13 transition protocols were in operation in Greater London in April 2005. Not all protocols meet all requirements set by government policy. Variation in protocol-sharing organisational units and transition process suggest that practice may vary. There is discontinuity of care provision for some patients who 'graduate' from CAMHS services but are not accepted by adult services.
The objective of the study was to assess the effect of changes in mental health status on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children and adolescents aged 8 - 18 years.
A representative sample of Spanish children and adolescents aged 8-18 years completed the self-administered KIDSCREEN-52 questionnaire at baseline and after 3 years. Mental health status was measured using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Changes on SDQ scores over time were used to classify respondents in one of 3 categories (improved, stable, worsened). Data was also collected on gender, undesirable life events, and family socio-economic status. Changes in HRQOL were evaluated using effect sizes (ES). A multivariate analysis was performed to identify predictors of poor HRQOL at follow-up.
Response rate at follow-up was 54% (n = 454). HRQOL deteriorated in all groups on most KIDSCREEN dimensions. Respondents who worsened on the SDQ showed the greatest deterioration, particularly on Psychological well-being (ES = -0.81). Factors most strongly associated with a decrease in HRQOL scores were undesirable life events and worsening SDQ score.
Changes in mental health status affect children and adolescents' HRQOL. Improvements in mental health status protect against poorer HRQOL while a worsening in mental health status is a risk factor for poorer HRQOL.
Clinician-rated measures are used extensively in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) is a short clinician-rated measure developed for ordinary clinical practice, with increasing use internationally. Several studies have investigated its psychometric properties, but there are few data on its correspondence with other methods, rated by other informants. We compared the HoNOSCA with the well-established Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) questionnaires: the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Teacher's Report Form (TRF), and the Youth Self-Report (YSR).
Data on 153 patients aged 6-17 years at seven outpatient CAMHS clinics in Norway were analysed. Clinicians completed the HoNOSCA, whereas parents, teachers, and adolescents filled in the ASEBA forms. HoNOSCA total score and nine of its scales were compared with similar ASEBA scales. With a multiple regression model, we investigated how the ASEBA ratings predicted the clinician-rated HoNOSCA and whether the different informants' scores made any unique contribution to the prediction of the HoNOSCA scales.
We found moderate correlations between the total problems rated by the clinicians (HoNOSCA) and by the other informants (ASEBA) and good correspondence between eight of the nine HoNOSCA scales and the similar ASEBA scales. The exception was HoNOSCA scale 8 psychosomatic symptoms compared with the ASEBA somatic problems scale. In the regression analyses, the CBCL and TRF total problems scores together explained 27% of the variance in the HoNOSCA total scores (23% for the age group 11-17 years, also including the YSR). The CBCL provided unique information for the prediction of the HoNOSCA total score, HoNOSCA scale 1 aggressive behaviour, HoNOSCA scale 2 overactivity or attention problems, HoNOSCA scale 9 emotional symptoms, and HoNOSCA scale 10 peer problems; the TRF for all these except HoNOSCA scale 9 emotional symptoms; and the YSR for HoNOSCA scale 9 emotional symptoms only.
This study supports the concurrent validity of the HoNOSCA. It also demonstrates that parents, teachers and adolescents all contribute unique information in relation to the clinician-rated HoNOSCA, indicating that the HoNOSCA ratings reflect unique perspectives from multiple informants.
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a practical, economic and user-friendly screening instrument of emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents. This study was aimed primarily at evaluating the factor structure of the Greek version of the SDQ.
A representative nationwide sample of 1,194 adolescents (11 to 17 years old) completed the questionnaire. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to assess the factor structure of the SDQ.
CFA supported the original five-factor structure. The modification of the model provided some improvements. Internal consistency was acceptable for total difficulties, emotional symptoms and prosocial behaviour scale, moderate for hyperactivity/inattention scale and inadequate for peer and conduct problems scale. Older adolescents (aged 15 to 17 years) reported more hyperactivity/inattention and conduct problems than younger ones (aged 11 to 14 years) and girls reported more emotional symptoms and less prosocial behaviour problems than boys. Adolescents of low socioeconomic status (SES) reported more difficulties than those of medium and high SES.
The Greek SDQ could be potentially considered as a community-wide screening instrument for adolescents' emotional and behavioural problems.
Few studies have investigated how demographic, clinical and organizational characteristics influence parents' experiences with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The objective of this study was to determine the effects of these characteristics on parents' experiences using data from a large national postal survey.
A questionnaire was mailed to 17,871 parents or other primary caregivers whose children were attending 1 of the 86 outpatient CAMHS in Norway in 2006. Multiple regression analysis was used to explore the associations between demographic, clinical and organizational characteristics, and three scales of parents' experiences.
The questionnaire was completed by 7906 parents (46%). Organizational characteristics such as involvement of the parents in treatment and accessibility to the clinic explained most of the variation in all three scales of parents' experiences. Although the effects of demographic and clinical characteristics of the children in some instances were statistically significant, they only accounted for a small amount of the total explained variance.
Accessibility to the clinic and involvement of the parents in treatment are much stronger predictors of parental experiences with outpatient CAMHS than are demographic and clinical variables. Accessibility and involvement are at least partly influenced by the clinics themselves, and hence parental satisfaction may be enhanced by making the clinics more accessible and by involving the parents/caregivers in the treatment.
User experiences; Parent satisfaction; Child and adolescent mental health services; National survey
Background In a time of limited resources and the need for cohesive services, understanding levels of need and prevalence is key. Manchester has a diverse range of cultures and socio-economic groups; national data is valuable but not always representative of local need.
Aim To assess the prevalence of mental health needs in secondary school pupils in Manchester.
Method Parents and teachers in three secondary schools were invited to complete the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and a tool examining unmet needs.
Results Initially, 560 pupils were chosen. Having excluded families that opted out, 503 questionnaires were distributed. Teachers returned 200 questionnaires and parents returned 127. Higher than average levels of need were identified with teachers reporting that 18% of pupils scored abnormally on the SDQ. Parent rates were also higher than the national average at 13.4%.
Discussion Parents and teachers wanted children to be seen at home and at school, the need for consultation and outreach from mental health into schools is emphasised.
mental health; needs assessment; secondary school
The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioural five factor instrument developed to assess emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the psychometric properties for parent and teacher ratings in the Danish version of SDQ for different age groups of boys and girls.
The Danish versions of the SDQ were distributed to a total of 71,840 parent and teacher raters of 5-, 7- and 10- to 12-year-old children included in four large scale Danish cohorts. The internal reliability was assessed and exploratory factor analyses were carried out to replicate the originally proposed five factor structure. Mean scores and percentiles were examined in order to differentiate between low, medium and high levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties.
The original five factor structure could be substantially confirmed. The Conduct items however did not solely load on the proposed Conduct scale and the Conduct scale was further contaminated by non-conduct items. Positively worded items tended to load on the Prosocial scale. This was more so the case for teachers than for parents. Parent and teacher means and percentiles were found to be lower compared to British figures but similar to or only slightly lower than those found in the other Nordic countries. The percentiles for girls were generally lower than for boys, markedly so for the teacher hyperactivity ratings.
The study supports the usefulness of the SDQ as a screening tool for boys and girls across age groups and raters in the general Danish population.
Discrepancies between parents and children in their assessment of children's mental health affect the evaluation of need for services and must be taken seriously. This article presents the differences between parents' and children's reports of the children's symptoms and social impairment, based on the results of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The interrelationship between relational aspects and socio-demographic factors with patterns of disagreement are explored.
Differences in the prevalence and means of SDQ symptom and impact scores were obtained from 8,154 primary school children, aged between 10 and 13 years, and their parents. Agreement between matched pairs was measured using Pearson's and Spearman's rho correlations. Socio-demographic variables, communication patterns and parental engagement were analysed as possible correlates of informant discrepancies using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models.
In general, although children reported more symptoms, they reported less impact of perceived difficulties than parents. The parents were more consistent in their evaluation of symptoms and impact than were the children. Exploration of highly discrepant subgroups showed that, when children reported the most symptoms and impact, qualitative aspects of the parent-child relationship and family structure seemed to be more powerful predictors of disagreement than were gender of the child and socio-demographic variables. When parents reported the most symptoms and impact, low parental educational level, low income and male gender of the child played an additional role.
Our findings underline the importance of paying attention to child reports of emotional-behavioural difficulties, particularly when parents do not identify these problems. Considerations on what meaning parent-child discrepancy might have in the context of the parent-child relationship or the family's psychosocial status should be integrated in the overall understanding of the child's situation and subsequent recommendations.