The ability of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire to detect mental health disorders in a child and adolescent outpatient clinic in Northern-Norway
The aim of the study was to examine the ability of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to detect mental health disorders among patients referred to a child and adolescent outpatient clinic. The sample consisted of 100 participants between 5 and 17 years referred to an outpatient clinic in Northern-Norway. The SDQ-generated diagnostic predictions were compared to a gold standard to measure the screening efficiency of the SDQ. The gold standard consisted of psychiatric diagnoses assigned by experienced clinicians on the basis of the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). Screening efficiency was measured by using sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and positive and negative likelihood ratios. The results showed that 72% of the children and adolescents in the sample had a diagnosable mental disorder according to the SDQ. In terms of screening efficiency the findings showed mixed results for the different diagnostic disorders. Overall the results suggest that the SDQ might not be accurate enough to be of practical use as a screening instrument in a child and adolescent mental health clinic.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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