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Academic Child Psychiatry Unit

Key Clinics Standardised Assessments

  • Presence of child psychiatric disorders
    Assessment Clinics
    Standardised Assessments

    Presence of child psychiatric disorders

    Child psychiatric disorders are based on [1] the presence of symptom patterns, based on multi-informant reports (eg, parent, child, teacher) and [2] the presence of impairment in a given childs academic, interpersonal, family and social development directly related to the presence of the above symptom patterns.

    Assessment Clinics

    A group of key assessment clinics have been established by the ACPU.

    The community- and hospital-based ACPU clinics are structured around key high prevalence and high risk child psychiatric disorders that are frequently psychological and medication treatment non-responsive.  They assist in clarifying diagnostic uncertainties and advise in an ongoing way about specific psychological and medical treatments and their monitoring. For young people [1] where there is a diagnostic clarification issue or [2] who have been through one or more psychological and/or medical treatment regimens and who remain treatment non-responsive, the clinics may be a useful resource. 

    These clinics are outlined below, along with with examples of disorders they cover (please note that these lists are not exhaustive).

    Medical Psychiatry clinic

    • neurological disorders with a potential psychiatric component (eg, epilepsy, headache, stroke, neurofibromatosis, DiGeorge syndrome)
    • endocrine disorders with a potential psychiatric component (eg, Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, precocious puberty, congenital adrenal hyperplasia)

    Disruptive Behaviour Disorders clinic

    Depressive Disorders clinic

    • Dysthymic disorder (primarily pre-pubertal)
    • Major depressive disorder (primarily post-pubertal)

    Anxiety Disorder clinic

    • Generalised anxiety disorder
    • Separation anxiety disorder
    • Specific phobia
    • Social phobia
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Panic disorder
    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Autistic Disorders clinic         

    • High functioning Autistic disorder
    • Aspergers disorder

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    Standardised Assessments

    Referral to one of these clinics will result in a thorough clinical assessment of symptoms from child, parent and teacher perspectives, cognitive ability, educational ability, biological and psychosocial strengths and weaknesses, parental symptoms associated with managing their child and family functioning.  Assessments will take place over two sessions (one full day) in the Academic Child Psychiatry Unit, Royal Children's Hospital.  Part of the assessment will involve both the parent and the child while other parts will require only the child to be present.

    The following assessments are undertaken at each assessment session (the sessions may not be completed in this order):

    Session One

    • Structured clinical interview with child and separately with the parent(s)/caregiver(s)
    • Neurological screen of child
    • Demographic screen and developmental history of child, including key biological and psychosocial milestones
    • Child-report: Youth Self Report, Childrens Depression Inventory, Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale
    • Parent/Caregiver report: Child Behaviour Checklist, Childrens Depression Scale, Hopkins Symptom Checklist, Family Assessment Devise, Connors Rating Scales
    • Teacher - report: Child Behaviour Checklist, Connors Rating Scales
    • Clinician rated Rutter and Graham Interview Schedule

    Session Two

    • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fourth Edition (WISC-IV)
    • Wide Range Achievement Test Third Edition (WRAT-3)
    • Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB - Memory Component)

    All information collected will be fed back to the referring clinician/doctor in the form of a written report summarizing the young person's key strengths and weaknesses and an ongoing priority treatment plan will be offered.  In addition, every young person will be followed up at three months and annually.


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