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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2004 Nov;43(11):1334-44.

The services for children and adolescents-parent interview: development and performance characteristics.

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  • 1Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health of Columbia University, New York, 10032, USA.



To date, no instrument has been developed that captures children's services use across primary care, specialty mental health, and other settings, including setting, treatment type, provider discipline, and length and intensity of specific interventions over varying follow-up periods. The authors developed a highly structured services assessment measure [Services for Children and Adolescents-Parent Interview (SCAPI)] for use in the National Institute of Mental Health Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA).


After successfully piloting and refining the SCAPI during initial phases of the MTA, the authors used this measure at 24 months post-randomization to ascertain the previous 6 months of services use for all participating (516 of 579) MTA children and families and 285 age- and gender-matched classroom control children.


Findings revealed meaningful, face-valid differences between MTA and control children in levels and types of services used during the previous 6-month period. Services use data reported by parents was substantially in accord with data independently gathered by the research data center. Site variations were found in the level and use of several specific services, such as individual child psychotherapy (sites ranged from 0% to 6.8% among classroom controls compared with 9.7% to 46.1% among MTA participants) and special education services (0% to 14.6% among classroom controls, 27.5% to 34.8% among MTA participants), consistent with differences reported in other studies.


These data support the descriptive validity of SCAPI-ascertained services use data and indicate that the SCAPI can provide investigators and policymakers a valid means of assessing services type, intensity, onset and offset, provider type, and content.

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