Paediatrics Publications

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BMC Health Services Research





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Background: The Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) assessment system was developed by interRAI (i.e., an international collective of researchers and clinicians from over thirty countries) in response to the unprecedented need for a coordinated approach to delivery of children's mental health care. Many interRAI instruments are used across Canada and internationally, but the ChYMH represents the first assessment specifically for children and youth. In the present paper, a short overview of the development process of the ChYMH is provided, and then the psychometric properties of several embedded scales on the ChYMH are examined. Methods: Participants included 1297 children and youth and their families who completed the ChYMH after being referred to mental health agencies within Ontario, Canada. In addition, smaller subsets of participants (N = 48-53) completed additional criterion measures, including the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS), the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and the Brief Child and Family Phone Interview (BCFPI). Results: Results demonstrated that the ChYMH subscales had strong internal-consistency (Cronbach's higher than.70), and correlated well with the criterion measures. Conclusions: Findings support the clinical utility of the ChYMH for use among clinically referred children and youth. Implications for children's mental health assessment and practice are discussed.