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Children and young people’s mental health outcome measures in paediatrics
  1. Florence Ruby1,
  2. Luís Costa da Silva1,
  3. Nick Tait1,
  4. Anisatu Rashid1,
  5. Rosie Singleton1,
  6. Lee Atkins1,
  7. Sally Marriot1,
  8. Kate Dalzell1,
  9. Angelika Labno2,
  10. Julian Edbrooke-Childs1,2,
  11. Jenna Jacob1
  1. 1 Child Outcomes Research Consortium, Anna Freud Centre, London, UK
  2. 2 Evidence Based Practice Unit, Anna Freud Centre and UCL, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jenna Jacob, Child Outcomes Research Consortium, Anna Freud Centre, London, UK; jenna.jacob{at}


Paediatricians are increasingly likely to encounter children and young people with mental health difficulties, either as primary presentations or as comorbidities linked with chronic illnesses. However, paediatricians may have limited training or experience regarding the tools available to identify mental health needs and how to use these tools. The current paper aims to provide a go-to guide for paediatricians when considering the use of mental health and well-being outcome measures, including how to select, administer and interpret measures effectively. It also provides practical guidance on the most common mental health outcome measures used in children and young people’s mental health services across the UK and elsewhere, which paediatricians are likely to encounter in their practice. Paediatricians may also find these measures useful in their own practice to screen for potential mental health difficulties, monitor the impact of chronic health conditions on a young person’s mental health and well-being, or to provide evidence when referring young people to mental health services.

  • Child Psychiatry
  • Adolescent Health

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  • Contributors JE-C, JJ and FR conceived the research; FR, LCdS, NT, AR, RS, LA, SM, KD, AL, JJ and JE-C drafted and reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests All authors currently work as part of CORC which encourages the use of patient-reported outcome measures.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.