Department of Economics and Business Economics

Clinicians' attitudes toward standardized assessment and diagnosis within child and adolescent psychiatry

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  • M Danielson, 2Stockholm Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stockholm County Council, Box 17914, 118 95 Stockholm, Sweden.
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  • A Månsdotter, 3Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden.
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  • E Fransson, 5Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
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  • S Dalsgaard
  • J-O Larsson, 2Stockholm Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stockholm County Council, Box 17914, 118 95 Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: There is a strong call for clinically useful standardized assessment tools in everyday child and adolescent psychiatric practice. The attitudes of clinicians have been raised as a key-facilitating factor when implementing new methods. An explorative study was conducted aimed to investigate the clinicians' attitudes regarding standardized assessments and usefulness of diagnoses in treatment planning.

Methods: 411 mental health service personnel working with outpatient and inpatient assessment and treatment within the specialist child and adolescent mental health services, Stockholm County Council were asked to participate in the study, of which 345 (84%) agreed answer a questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions regarding Attitudes toward Standardized Assessment and Utility of Diagnosis. Descriptive analyses were performed and four subscales were compared with information from a similar study in US using the same instruments. The demographic and professional characteristics (age, working years, gender, education, profession, management position, involvement in assessment, level of service) in terms of prediction of attitudes were studied by univariate and multivariate linear regressions.

Results: Overall, the clinicians had quite positive attitudes and were more positive compared to a similar study conducted in the US earlier. There were differences in attitudes due to several characteristics but the only characteristic predicting all subscales was type of profession (counselor, nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, other), with counselors being less positive than other groups.

Conclusion: The overall positive attitudes toward standard assessment are of importance in the development of evidence-based practice and our study implies that clinicians in general value and are willing to use standardized assessment. Nevertheless, there are specific issues such as adequate training and available translated assessment instrument that need to be addressed. When implementing new methods in practice, there are general as well as specific resistances that need to be overcome. Studies in different cultural settings are of importance to further extend the knowledge of what is general and what is specific barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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