The children's services interview: validity and reliability

Tamsin Ford, Helena Hamilton, Sabina Dosani, Lisa Burke, Robert Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-49
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological/methods
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services/standards
  • Psychology, Child/methods
  • Psychometrics/methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United Kingdom

Cite this