BACKGROUND: The Children Service Interview was designed as a brief measure of service use related to mental health problems in Great Britain.
METHOD: We validated the Children's Services Interview against medical records from a sample of 87 children, and assessed test-retest reliability from 25 parents completing two interviews. We examined criterion validity by looking at the service use patterns of children attending clinics for different types of disorders.
RESULTS: The Children's Services Interview showed high levels of face validity and moderate or better concordance with medical records as far as contacts were recorded in the case notes. Test-retest reliability was moderate or better apart from contacts with the voluntary sector, teachers, and the number and duration of appointments with some professionals.
CONCLUSION: The study suggests the Children's Services Interview can extract moderately valid and reliable data on service use.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST: Tamsin Ford was supported by a Wellcome Clinical Training Fellowship in Health Services Research while completing this work.
- Child, Preschool
- Interview, Psychological/methods
- Mental Health Services/standards
- Psychology, Child/methods
- Reproducibility of Results
- United Kingdom