Friday, April 12, 2013

National Quality Forum Endorses Pediatric Symptom Checklist

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced April 12 that it will fully endorse Massachusetts General Hospital’s Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC), a screening questionnaire used by pediatricians to improve the recognition and treatment of psychosocial problems in children.

The NQF is nonprofit consensus standards-setting organization that relies on input from a number of diverse professional and community organizations to evaluate standards through an open and transparent process. The organization has only endorsed nine projects measuring mental health for children.

The checklist was created in 1982 by Michael Jellinek, MD, the former chief of child psychiatry at Mass General and current chief clinical officer of Partners HealthCare, and has been validated over the last 30 years by Jellinek and Michael Murphy, EdD, a senior psychologist in the outpatient child psychiatry service. The checklist is a 35 item parent questionnaire used to measure overall psychosocial functioning in children from 4 to 16 years old. Available for free on the Mass General website, the form comes in more than two dozen languages and pictorial form. The site also offers a youth self report and a brief 17 item version for parents and children.

The checklist is already endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is one of a handful of measures required for the state’s Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative. The governments of Chile and Australia also use the checklist as part of their national mental health screening programs.

The announcement comes on the heels of a paper published in the March issue of Pediatrics showing that the checklist is one of just nine children’s mental health measures recommended for use in evaluating new national and state health care programs.

For the full NQF release, click here. For more information on the checklist, click here

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