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J Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2014;26(3):229-38. doi: 10.2989/17280583.2014.923432.

Feasibility of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in assessing children's mental health in primary care: Finnish parents', teachers' and public health nurses' experiences with the SDQ.

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1
a University of Tampere, School of Medicine , Department of Child Psychiatry , Lääketieteen yksikkö, 33014 Tampereen yliopisto , Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

METHOD:

Following the administration of the SDQ in medical check-ups of 4-9 year-old children (n = 2 682) the involved parents, teachers and public health nurses were asked to complete a feedback questionnaire of the SDQ.

RESULTS:

Parents took a maximum of 10-15 minutes to complete the SDQ, and only the public health nurses reported that its use was rather burdensome. The SDQ was an age-appropriate method and it was helpful in increasing information and agreement about the child's mental health and need for support. Using the SDQ was a positive experience for parents, but they expected more dialogue with the professionals about the child's situation. The respondents criticised the questionnaire somewhat for being difficult to interpret and complete.

CONCLUSIONS:

The SDQ was found to be a feasible method for screening children's mental health in primary health care together with parents, teachers and public health nurses. Using the SDQ was a positive experience for parents. However, they reminded the professionals of the importance of sensitive dialogue when assessing the mental health of the child.

PMID:
25533409
DOI:
10.2989/17280583.2014.923432
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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