Review - Measurement Issues: Assessing anxiety disorders in children and adolescents
Embargoed until: 2018-11-01
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Background: Given the relatively high prevalence of anxiety problems among young people and their adverse consequences if left untreated, it is important that clinicians and researchers have access to reliable and valid assessment tools to facilitate early detection, case formulation, treatment design and evaluation of outcomes. Method: This paper presents the findings of a pragmatic review of the literature regarding the assessment of anxiety in young people in multiple contexts, including mental health services, school-based screening and research trials. Results: Commonly used diagnostic interviews, questionnaire measures and alternative assessment methods are described, along with psychometric properties and practical issues. The review indicates the complexities of assessing anxiety problems given the high level of comorbidity between anxiety disorders and with depression. It also highlights the different approaches required for assessment across different age groups, the need for multiple informants and issues relating to the lack of agreement between reporters. There is a strong evidence-base for several diagnostic instruments and anxiety scales, although the accuracy of youth and parent report scales in forming clinical diagnoses is not sufficiently strong to justify their use in isolation for diagnostic purposes. Conclusions: The assessment of youth anxiety should ideally include a multiinformant, multimethod approach, with measures tailored to the age of the child, and the purpose of the evaluation. There is now a sufficiently strong research base to enable clinicians and researchers to ensure that they select evidence-based instruments.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
© 2017 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Review ‐ Measurement Issues: Assessing anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2017, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12251. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html)
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Psychology not elsewhere classified