Evidence-based assessment of anxiety and its disorders in children and adolescents

  • Silverman W
  • Ollendick T
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Abstract

We provide an overview of where the field currently stands when it comes to having evidence-based methods and instruments available for use in assessing anxiety and its disorders in children and adolescenis. Methods coveted include diagno.stic inter-view schedules, rating scales, observations, and self-monitoring forms. We also dis-cu.ss the main purposes or goals of assessment and indicate which methods and in-struments have the tnosl evidetice for accomplishing these goals. We alsofoctis on several specific issues that need contintied research attention for the field to move forward toward an evidence-based assessment approach. Finally, tentative recom-mendalions are made for conductitig an evidence-based assessment for atixiety and its disorders in children and adolescents. Directions for future research also are discussed. The field of child psychology has made significant strides in the past decade in having as part of its arma-mentarium evidence-based methods and instrutnents for use in a.s.ses.sing anxiety and its disorders in chil-dren and adolescents. Specifically, systematic em-pirical testing and evaluation of certain assessment method.^ and insuiiments have been undertaken. In ad-dition, increased attention has been paid to conduct-ing research thai will help in deriving evidence-hased guidelines about how \o proceed with the assessment of anxiety and its disorders in youths. Examples of evi-dence-ba.sed guidelines or recommendations suggest that the field i.s beginning to have answers to questions such as the following: If I can give only one rating scale as an anxiety screen, which one should I give? How should I handle discrepant parent-child anxiety assess-ment data? Can I use a particular instrument to help differentiate between anxiety and other disorders, such a.s depression? Which measure or set of measures should I include in a treatment outcome study? In this article, our aim is to provide a summary of where the field currently stands when it comes to hav-ing evidence-based methods and instruments available

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