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J Family Community Med. 2008 Jan;15(1):21-6.

Screening for psychosocial problems in children attending the pediatric clinic at king khalid university hospital (kkuh) in riyadh (ksa).

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Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Psychosocial problems are highly prevalent among children and adolescents. One approach to facilitating recognition and referral of these problems is to use parent-completed screening questionnaire as part of routine primary care.


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and type of psychosocial problems in a random sample of children attending the pediatric clinic at KKUH at the time of the study. A 2-part questionnaire was designed for the study. The first part contained basic biographic data in addition to items which reflect the socioeconomic status of the family. The second part of the questionnaire comprised the inventory, which is a modified version of the Pediatric Symptoms Checklist (PSC).The inventory consisted of 38 items classified into five categories. The total score of the inventory ranged from 0-114.


Three-hundred-twelve questionnaires were completed. The average of the total score was only 22.3 out of 114. The lowest score was 0 and the highest 84. The average scores of behavioral symptoms (BS) were the highest (7.03 out of 27) while that of the learning problems (LP) was the lowest (1.5 out of 18). The average score for mood symptoms (MS) was 5.6 out of 24, that for personality characteristics (PC) was 4.5 out of 24 and that for somatic symptoms (SS) was 4.3 out of 24.


This study revealed the feasibility of screening for behavioral problems of children in an outpatient setting. It is necessary to implement screening procedures for psycho-behavioral problems, and train pediatricians to screen children presenting at clinics.


children; pediatric clinic; pediatric psychosocial symptom inventory (PEPSI); psychosocial problems

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